Second and subsequent marriages are becoming more common these days, particularly as the divorce rate climbs. Couples in later marriages have often been burned before—thanks to youthful naivete or unexpected circumstances—so they know the importance of heading to an estate planning attorney or an expert in guardianship law in Phoenix, AZ.
We’ve assembled some tips on making sure you and your significant other are fully protected when you head to the altar or courthouse:
- Figure out what your priorities are: Deciding on a general financial plan for your life together is the biggest thing you can do to protect both your assets and your marriage. Together, you should discuss where you see yourselves over the next few decades. This includes short-term plans as well as things like retirement, homeownership, travel and more. If it affects your life together, you’ll want to talk about it before you get hitched again.
- Consider a prenup: Prenuptial agreements can seem less than romantic, it’s true. However, those who have been married before understand the importance of getting everything on paper before any potential conflict happens. This is especially true with millennials delaying marriage, and therefore bringing more assets and debt with them into the marriage, as well as for those who may plan to quit their job to be a stay-at-home parent. It doesn’t need to be complex—all you need to do is decide how your assets and debts would be divided in case of divorce. Naturally, this will be easier for some couples than others, particularly blended families.
- Keep some assets separate: You might want to take a “yours, mine and ours” approach to commingling your funds. Experts suggest that you have a joint account for common lifestyle expenses such as rent, mortgage, groceries, medical bills and other areas where it makes sense to support each other. You should both keep separate checking, savings and retirement accounts, at the very least. Other estate planning documents can be used to ensure that your spouse will still benefit from your assets upon your passing.
- Make an estate plan: Finally, you should prioritize estate planning—it doesn’t need to be entirely finished before you walk down the aisle, but it’s smart to have a plan in place for the future. You and your spouse can make decisions regarding assets, advanced medical directives and guardianship or conservatorship for your beneficiaries. If you die without a will, your assets will automatically go to your spouse, and then your spouse’s children. This can cause epic family rifts that lead to years of resentment, and having some simple documents on file will help you avoid these issues.
Hire an estate planning attorney at law in Phoenix, AZ
When you’re considering a second or subsequent marriage, make sure you protect yourself by consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney. Lyman Law Office offers a multitude of estate planning services, including prenuptial agreements, living wills and trusts, wills and more. Contact us today to find out more about how our services can help maximize and protect your assets.