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Estate planning changes for a second marriage

New York residents who are getting married for a second time may want to consider some changes to their estate plans and how they manage their finances. For example, people should be careful about commingling their assets with a new spouse if that party is still involved financially with a previous spouse. Creditors are not bound by divorce settlements, and joint accounts could be vulnerable as a result. People might want to talk to an attorney about making sure that property owned by one or both parties is titled correctly.

A trust may have a number of uses in a second marriage. For example, a person might have children from a first marriage and then die, and the new spouse might get that person's assets. If that new spouse then remarries, there might be a scenario where the children from the first marriage might not get anything unless the assets have been placed in a trust for their benefit. Another consideration is who the home belongs to in a blended family. A trust can be helpful here as well.

There are several other estate planning documents a person may want to review in a second marriage. Beneficiary designations for assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts override contrary provisions in wills, and people might forget to make these changes after a divorce. This could result in a former spouse getting these assets. Documents such as powers of attorney, which appoint people to manage a person's health care and finances if the person is incapacitated, should be reviewed as well.

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