Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.

How a second marriage might change an estate plan

People in Ohio who are remarrying might want to consider how they should alter their estate plans. If it is not a first marriage for the new spouse, the first step should be to avoid entangling finances if the new spouse also has financial ties to a previous partner. Because creditors are bound by divorce agreements, commingling finances could jeopardize joint accounts.

Trusts may offer some protection. For example, a person may want to place assets in a trust if there are children from a previous marriage. Otherwise, the new spouse may get those assets if the parent dies. If the new spouse remarries, a parent's assets could be shared between that couple instead of going to the children.

A trust can be used to ensure that a new spouse is able to continue living in the family home after the other spouse dies. People should make sure that any property that is jointly owned is in the name of both spouses. In general, reviewing an estate plan is an important step after a marriage.

An estate plan should be reviewed on a regular basis to account for other family changes as well. For example, births might lead to changes in a will. There might also be changes in a person's assets that could lead to an estate plan being altered. A person may want to choose a different executor or how assets are distributed. For example, a person might become concerned about making sure a loved one's assets are protected from creditors and may set up a trust instead of passing the assets along in a will. An experienced attorney can assist in periodically reviewing existing document to take these and other types of changes into account.

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Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Executive Commons West
29425 Chagrin Blvd.
Suite 305
Cleveland, OH 44122

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Phone: 216-245-0504
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