Estate Administration Lawyer Luzerne County, PA
A Luzerne County, PA estate administration lawyer knows that there are many life events that should trigger a reevaluation of the estate plan you may have in place. One of those events is remarriage. Remarriage in the United States has become very popular. In fact, according to national statistics, four out of every 10 marriages has at least one partner who has been married before. In two out of every 10 marriages, both partners have had prior marriages. At Hoegen & Associates, P.C., we work with many couples who have decided to remarry, helping them revamp their estate plan in order to avoid legal issues later on, and ensuring everyone is protected.
What Will Spouses Receive if the Other Dies?
Even without a will in place, a spouse will automatically receive certain assets if the other spouse dies. For example, the surviving spouse will be entitled to a homestead dollar amount or use of a shared home upon the other spouse’s death. However, they are only entitled to what is referred to as an “elective share” of their dead spouse’s estate, usually between 30 to 50 percent. They are also entitled to ownership of collections, heirlooms, and personal items.
However, without a will in place, what the surviving spouse inherits may cause issues with any children the dead spouse had from prior relationships. This can cause a lot of resentment and anger.
A Luzerne County estate administration lawyer knows that failure to update an old will can also wreak havoc on relationships – and the dead spouse’s last wishes. This is why it is so important to make sure these legal documents are updated when remarriage is taking place.
Prenuptial Agreements and Wills
When one or both partners have assets that should go to children from a prior marriage or relationship, there are steps they can take to ensure these assets end up where they should. Having a solid estate plan in place, including a will that specifies which assets go to the children and/or a living trust that turns over to the children upon the parent’s death are key.
However, an additional option couples should consider is drawing up a prenuptial agreement before they get married that specifies where these assets go. Not only does it ensure the children will receive those assets, but it also brings the conversation right to the forefront so there is no misunderstanding about where the spouse wants these assets to go when they die. This avoids a messy, often ugly, legal battle and expensive probate process.
Contact an Estate Lawyer for More Information
If you would like to learn more about estate planning, call Hoegen & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Luzerne County estate administration lawyer. We will help you plan and put into place the estate plan you envision for your loved ones when you are no longer here.