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Estate planning tips for remarried individuals

Numerous documents make up an estate plan. One mistake many New Yorkers make is they assume they only need a will when, in actuality, they need a lot more paperwork to properly pass on assets to loved ones. 

Over a lifetime, someone may marry multiple times. These individuals need to be particularly cautious of their estate plan, so their assets go to the right people. When marrying for the second, third or fourth time, you want to make sure you have the following documents in place to prepare thoroughly for the future. 

Prenuptial agreements

One of the most critical documents for someone marrying again is a prenup. This is a contract that addresses who receives what property in the event of divorce or death. If either spouse wants to pass on assets to someone other than the spouse, then they need a prenup. New York allows for elective sharing of any estate, so your spouse will receive support in the event anything happens to you. 

Beneficiary designations

When marrying again, review the beneficiary designations on all your retirement accounts. You need to review your 401ks, IRAs and life insurance policies. You likely want your new spouse to be the new beneficiary, and you will likely want to remove your former spouse from these documents. 

Property ownership

After you revise all pertinent estate planning documents, you need to turn your eye toward any property shared mutually by you and your new spouse. Any assets shared between you two in this way will pass on to the surviving spouse when one passes. In this situation, you need to retitle these ownerships to have the designation of "tenants in common." That way, each spouse has a unique interest in the assets. This allows another person to become the property's beneficiary. 

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