Congratulations on your recent marriage! Now that you are married, there are a lot of things you must do to start this new chapter of your life on the right foot — including updating your estate plan. This is especially important if you’ve been married before.
Why? Because your will, trust and other estate planning documents are probably out of date now. And if you don’t review them and make necessary adjustments, you could end up leaving all or part of your assets to your ex — something few people in Suffolk County would do on purpose.
What to look for in your estate plan
Here are a few examples of things to look for and amend in your estate plan:
- If your ex-spouse is listed as an heir in your will, you likely will want to remove them and add your current spouse
- You may have named your ex as a trustee or beneficiary of your trust
- Your ex might currently be the executor of your estate or be your medical and/or financial power of attorney
In most cases, you will want your new spouse to take the place of your ex in these cases. Plus, if you have gained stepchildren in your new marriage, you might consider adding them as heirs and beneficiaries. That is up to you, of course, but it’s something to consider, depending on the childrens’ age and financial needs.
In addition, you will want to examine your life insurance and retirement account. These do not pass through probate, but you still want to make sure the beneficiaries of these items reflect your current priorities.
Amending your plan does not have to be a pain
Updating your estate plan does not have to be difficult or overly time-consuming. Working with your estate planning attorney can help streamline the process while making sure you don’t miss anything.