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3 things you should know about second marriages and wills

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Entering into a second marriage is becoming more common in the United States. Whether a second marriage is the result of the death of a spouse or divorce, the rates are on the rise. When it comes to matters of estate planning, things may get tricky when remarriage occurs.

When contemplating tying the knot again, it is critical that you consider what your estate will look like for your spouse and heirs. Subsequent marriages require keen estate planning to keep successors straight during probate. 

1. Property

In the case of remarriage, it is likely one or both parties own a home. Unless the mortgage or deed accounts for the new spouse, moving into one house or the other may result in trouble when either spouse dies. It is worth considering provisions allowing the surviving spouse continued use of the home if another heir is inheriting it.

2. Combining accounts

If you have assets from a previous marriage that you earmarked for your children, keeping those separate may be the best way to go. One of the ways you can ensure someone receives the money or property you wish to give him or her upon your death is to hold these accounts with the intended heir jointly. This co-ownership is one of the best ways to ensure the probate process goes smoothly.

3. Laws in your state

Florida is a common law state when it comes to divorce or death, meaning everything existing between a married couple at the time of death automatically passes to the surviving spouse. If you do not have the proper channels set up for wealth distribution after death, the probate process will automatically result in your current spouse gaining control of all assets and property held by you during the marriage.

Planning for a wedding is exciting, even if it is the second trip down the aisle. However, second marriages may result in significant stress during the probate process. Failing to establish your estate may result in passing your money and property to the surviving spouse. If you intend to pass something specific on to your children from your first marriage, estate planning is vital.

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