How updating an estate plan protects your new spouse
An estate plan can be amended to stipulate that your new spouse gets to remain in the family home until he or she passes away. Without advance planning, a home or other assets may pass directly to your children. After receiving their inheritance, there is no guarantee that they would share it with your husband or wife.
Trusts may protect children from a previous marriage
You may choose to leave all your assets to your new husband or wife after you pass. However, this person may not share those assets with your children. You can protect your children’s inheritance by creating a revocable trust that will hold money or other property outside of your estate. Alternatively, you can put assets in a marital trust for your spouse with the understanding that a portion of everything inside it will eventually pass to your kids.
A failure to update a will, trust or other estate planning document may result in a variety of unintended consequences. Ideally, you will review your estate plan before and after a major life event, such as getting married. You may also want to review your plan once a year just to make sure that it still meets your needs. These reviews may take place with or without the assistance of an estate planning attorney.