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Estate Planning Attorney for Families and Second Marriages

Individuals who remarry, or who are in long-term committed relationships can face added estate planning challenges, as they often bring assets into the marriage and may want to protect the inheritance of children from prior marriages or relationships. While many second marriages assimilate well, tensions often arise between adult stepchildren and a parent’s new spouse that can become litigious, after the death of a parent. 

To promote family harmony, protect children, and provide for a surviving spouse, methodical and pragmatic estate planning can be undertaken to address unique challenges associated with second marriages or subsequent legal unions. If you are interested in learning more about protecting your loved ones and legacy, we invite you to call Plitz Estate Planning to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New Albany estate planning attorney who specializes in complex planning for second and subsequent marriages. 

We also encourage you to read the information below to learn about what should be considered by those who are contemplating remarriage.

Indiana Estate Planning for Second Marriages FAQs

Under Indiana law, if an individual dies without a will, his or her spouse is entitled to an intestate share, which is impacted by the number of surviving beneficiaries. The intestate share of a surviving spouse is as follows:

  • One Child. The surviving spouse is entitled to one-half of the net estate.
  • No Children, One Surviving Parent. The surviving spouse is entitled to three-fourths of the net estate.
  • No Surviving Children or Parents. The surviving spouse is entitled to all of the net estate.

Intestacy applies when an individual dies without a will. In this situation, Indiana state intestacy laws determine who will inherit the estate assets. Typically, assets are divided between a living spouse and the legal beneficiaries. However, unadopted stepchildren are not legal children; thus, they cannot inherit under Indiana intestacy laws. Consequently, if you would like for a stepchild to inherit a portion of your estate, a will is vital. 

In addition to distributing assets, a will also allows an individual to name a guardian who can care for a minor should a parent die or become incapacitated before the child reaches adulthood.

No. Many estate planning tools that are suitable for first marriages are often inappropriate for second marriages. 

At Plitz Estate Planning, we do not recommend leaving your estate outright to a new spouse, as there is no guarantee that assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. Once assets are turned over to a partner, he or she is under no legal obligation to leave anything to your biological children. For example, if a spouse develops an illness or becomes mentally incapacitated, your spouse’s children could divert assets to themselves with an executed durable power of attorney. Alternatively, your spouse may remarry and desire to leave assets to a new spouse. Or, they may simply decide to give all assets to their own biological children.

Regardless of the circumstances, as an experienced blended family estate planning attorney I can proactively head off such scenarios by putting a meticulous estate plan in place, ensuring that your assets are distributed as you intend.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning, especially when a blended family is involved. However, there are several estate planning tools that can be utilized to provide for loved ones, reduce the risk of contentious disputes, and ensure assets are properly distributed in accordance with your wishes, including (but not limited to):

  • Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • 401K Beneficiary Waivers
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Trusts
  • Life Insurance

After learning about your assets and objectives, New Albany blended family estate planning lawyer Jim Plitz can provide guidance regarding the estate planning tools that may be best suited for your needs. 


Call Today To Schedule A Free Initial Prospect Interview to Learn More About How An Experienced New Albany Blended Family Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help You!


Satisfaction Guaranteed

Satisfaction Guaranteed – If you are not 100% satisfied with the service or process within 60 days of signing your estate planning documents, you will receive a full refund.

Southern IN Estate Planning Lawyer James Plitz