FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2013-01-18
Many people who are divorced will be married again, starting new families. Those individuals who have children from an earlier marriage know that a later marriage will have a major impact on these children. This is especially true if the new marriage results in children as well. Parents will do everything they can to ensure that all of the children receive equal treatment, but what happens when that parent dies? Without proper estate planning, assets could go to unintended beneficiaries.
If an individual makes a will, those will be the wishes that will be carried out upon his or her death, if at all possible. Some people may see their life situation change after the will is created. Beneficiaries may die, or the party may get divorced and remarry.
If the will is not updated to reflect these changes, it can lead to some serious problems. Nevada has specific laws in place that protect certain family members that are inadvertently excluded by estate planning documents. This can include second spouses or later children, and offers some protection in the event of an untimely passing.
However, when a person who has a new marriage dies, the new spouse may receive most of the property that is being passed down. The new spouse may then get to decide how to distribute assets to the children, if the will was not updated to reflect the new marriage. The spouse may refuse to give the children a fair amount, because the spouse has no real connection with the children.
It is extremely important for couples with children from previous relationships to create an estate plan that properly reflects their wishes. Discussing how they want to divide up their assets can go a long way toward resolving conflicts that may arise after a parent passes away. This can relieve a lot of stress and anger than can often develop when people are dealing with the loss of a loved one.
If you have questions about estate planning, speak to an experienced attorney to understand how best to preserve your wishes. Whether you have a plan in place or are looking to create one, it is important that you know what you need to do to ensure that your property goes where it is intended. Working with someone who has been through this process before can help you feel confident that your plan meets your needs.