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Estate planning for your second marriage

Marriage is about love, and it's certainly beautiful any time two people and their respective families come together through matrimony. However, it's also important to remember that getting married is a legal contract. If you're going into your second marriage, there are a few things that you should think about before finalizing this contract.

1. Consider your expenses and ownership of property

When you mix your assets together with your new spouse -- referred to as commingling of funds -- you are losing your individual property rights to those funds. The money in shared bank accounts, for example, will become the property of your marital estate.

If you have debts left over from your previous marriage, even if they were only in your ex-spouse's name, it may be wise to keep your assets separate. This way, your new spouse is not at risk of losing his or her money to creditors seeking to collect debt on your ex-spouse's unpaid credit cards.

2. Protect your assets from being lost if your new spouse remarries

If you have children from your previous marriage -- or if you have specific heirs you want part of your estate to go to -- it may be wise to create a trust account to ensure they receive their inheritances.

For example, imagine you pass away before you current spouse. Will your current spouse receive all of your assets by default because he or she was married to you? And what happens to that money if your spouse remarries. A trust will set aside specific assets to ensure that your children and other heirs are not disinherited by accident.

3. Get help from a professional estate planning lawyer

There's a lot more to consider to protect your assets when you're getting married for a second time. A Newport Beach estate planning lawyer can guide you through your estate planning process no matter what your needs.

Source: Forbes, "Second Marriage And Estate Planning: 5 Things You May Not Have Considered," Mark Eghrari, accessed Aug. 01, 2017

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