Many people in California and throughout the nation will enter into marriage more than once in their lifetimes. There are certain things to keep in mind if one wants to avoid estate planning problems that may arise when a situation involves a former spouse. A key factor to prevent troubles down the line is to keep all accounts, records and executed plans updated.

In order to make sure that assets get passed on to the beneficiaries of choice, one needs a will. Otherwise, assets will be distributed as per intestate laws, which means those who inherit them may not be those the estate owner would have chosen. If an estate owner intends children from a prior marriage to inherit certain accounts or property, it must be specified in a will.

Other documents that may help keep things straight with regard to former and new spouses are prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements and waivers. Given the fact that an estimated 40 percent of marriages end in divorce and more than 60 percent of all who live in the United States do not have will in place, it seems of paramount importance to address such issues before it is too late. Out-of-date estate planning documents pose potential negative issues for new spouses and children.

Anyone in California who has questions regarding multiple marriages and estate planning can seek answers by requesting a meeting with an experienced estate administration and planning attorney. As an advocate, an attorney can help design a plan that addresses each particular need of a client. With sound counsel and effective representation, one can execute a plan that keeps the best interests of all involved at heart.

Source: CNBC, “Remarrying? Update your estate plan“, Kelli B. Grant, Oct. 14, 2016