It is not unusual for Maryland residents to get married more than once in their lifetimes. If these marriages come later in life, there will likely be many topics that need to be addressed when it comes to finances and property. As a result, individuals may wish to revisit the documents in their estate plan to ensure that their life changes are reflected in those documents.
Because many individuals have children from previous marriages, they often want to protect the inheritances of those children. However, if individuals wish to leave all of their assets to their children from a previous marriage, they may face complications. Spouses are rarely disinherited from estate benefits, and as a result, state laws could potentially override a will in order for at least some assets to go to the current spouse. If individuals are concerned with such a loophole, they may wish to ensure that their estate documents are properly worded to avoid potential conflict.
Additionally, individuals may wish to address their estate plan wishes in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This agreement could contain steps to ensure that a new spouse agrees to the terms of the will in so much that he or she waives the right to contest the will or take an elective share of the estate. An elective share is one a spouse could potentially take in place of what was designated in the will.
Though many individuals marry a second or subsequent time in their lives in hopes of living out a happy relationship, it is important that the legal ramifications of a remarriage are addressed. Estate plan issues are often ones that Maryland residents hope to avoid in efforts to help their families contend with a death and estate obligations more easily. Therefore, if individuals are concerned that wishes could potentially be disregarded, they may wish to consult with their estate planning attorney in order to ensure that their documents are binding.
Source: wmur.com, “Money Matters: Financial and estate planning for second marriages“, Marc Hebert, Aug. 18, 2016