Grey divorce refers to the end of marriages of people in their 50s and 60s. While it is true that the overall divorce rate in the United States has declined, the rate of divorce among this segment of the population is increasing. Another large group of older individuals is also finding love a second time around and getting remarried. If you are among the people getting divorced or remarried later in life, it is a wise idea to review your estate planning documents and make sure that they will still help you to achieve your goals.
The following will review some important factors that you should consider to ensure that your estate plan will provide for your loved ones. As you begin to structure your estate plan around your new marriage, it is a wise idea to remember that this type of estate planning is not done to be unromantic, but rather to reduce the risk that your estate ends up administered in a way that you do not desire.
Trusts can Play a Valuable Role in Second Marriages
If you want to both protect your assets and make sure that these valuables ultimately pass on to your loved ones, you should consider creating a trust. Among the many types of trusts that are available, qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts both let spouses access these assets while they are still alive while also limiting the spouse’s ability to control assets in the trust after the other passes away. These trusts can be a valuable tool for providing a spouse access to assets while you are alive while making sure that assets are preserved for your children. Some additional benefits provided by QTIP trusts is that they allow an individual to determine who benefits from the assets in the trusts.
Without a QTIP trust, any assets that your spouse receives from your estate can be later be divided with anyone your spouse subsequently marries after you pass away. Some people even utilize QTIP trusts in combination with other estate planning tools to transfer assets.
Make Sure to Update Beneficiary Designations
As you enter a second marriage, it is a good idea to review your beneficiary designations to make sure that they still accurately reflect your wishes. While many assets pass under the terms of a trust, not all of them do.
While you might decide to update all of your beneficiary designations to reflect your new spouse, doing so provides your new spouse with almost immediate access to these funds in case something ever happens to you. Also, unless your assets are appropriately titled to your desired beneficiaries, your other beneficiaries might not be able to benefit from your account at all.
As a result, while updating beneficiary designations might be an appealing option, they also present many substantial risks.
Contact a Seasoned Estate Planning Lawyer
One of the best ways to make sure that your estate planning documents are properly structured during a second marriage is to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today for assistance.