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Estate planning after remarriage: An important step

Estate planning is important if you want to make sure your loved ones receive as many assets as possible after you pass away. This is particularly important in cases where you have a blended family. For example, if you have children from two marriages, you'll want to have an estate plan and will that accounts for the needs of each child, regardless of who their mother or father is.

When you plan your estate, it's a good idea to have a family discussion about it with those old enough to understand. For instance, you may want to talk to your spouse about obligations you have to your family and ex-spouse. You may need to be clear about the fact that you intend to leave certain assets to those individuals, even though you're in a new relationship now. Be clear about any divorce agreements you've made in the past, so your new spouse knows what to expect if you pass away.

Another thing you should discuss is your long-term goals. You should talk about how you plan to support each other as you age or if one of you is disabled. Try to be as business-minded as possible at this stage of the discussion, because if you get emotional, it's likely you'll make emotional decisions and potentially bad choices.

If you have young children, remember to address guardianship. Whether they are children with a former spouse or your current spouse, there needs to be information on what happens if you or their other parent passes away unexpectedly.

With these tips, it's possible to stay on top of your estate planning and to guarantee that your wishes are known. Doing this now might seem premature, but it's better to have a plan in place than to wait too long.

Source: Fidelity, "The second time around," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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