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Charting Futures For More Than 30 Years

Estate planning before getting remarried

Anyone in Missouri who is getting married after previously being widowed has good reason to feel happy about their new love and chance for a positive future with a new spouse. However, that joy should not get in the way of taking care of some very important practical and financial matters, especially when children from prior marriages are involved.

Fidelity Investments recommends that partners have frank and open conversations about their long-term plans for their estates and assets before they get married. This should involve a thorough review of all assets each person will bring to the relationship such as real estate, investments, retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

It should also include a review of all debts and obligations to previous spouses. For example, a widow decree might stipulate that a person must name the former spouse as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy as part of their overall property division settlement. Any requirements to make child support or spousal support payment should also be identified.

Forbes notes that couples should discuss not only who should get what when they die but the timing of when assets are to be transferred. This may be especially important when it comes to homes. Some people may want their new spouse to continue to live in the home but then have it transfer to their children when that spouse dies. Other people might want their assets transferred to their children immediately. These things should be clearly outlined in a trust or other estate planning tool.