Tip 1: Plan ahead before remarriage.
When people with children from a previous marriage get remarried, they can often make the mistake of not addressing estate planning issues with the new spouse. Take, for example, a situation where a divorced father gets remarried. The newly married father then creates a will that leaves everything to his new wife, and dies shortly thereafter. In this situation the stepparent of the man’s children would receive all his property. She could then choose to do whatever she wants with it and does not have any obligation to leave the property to her stepchildren.
Tip 2: Update your plan regularly.
It’s important to stress the idea that your estate plan needs to be regularly updated whenever you go through certain life events. Any time you’re married, divorced, have a child, experienced the death of a beneficiary, or experience a change in financial situation you will want to update your estate plan to reflect the new facts.
Tip 3: Don’t create an estate plan without professional guidance.
If you’ve created a last Will and testament by using an online form, a document you found in a book, or some other form of do-it-yourself estate planning, you should at the very least consult an estate planning attorney to make sure your documents is without error. Without the assistance of a professional you run the risk of a court declaring a portion of your estate plan invalid. If, for example, a court finds that you didn’t properly create your will, your estate will be distributed according to state laws regardless of your wishes.
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