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
- 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!
Jim knows his business. I especially like how he gets back to us quickly with understandable explanations to our questions. I have recommended Jim to friends who have been equally pleased…
My wife and I have discussed a few changes in our living trust with James Plitz and we think he has given us some very good advice. It has been a pleasure working with him.
John and I first met Jim when we needed to update our Trust. He was knowledgeable, competent, and personable. However, I appreciated him much more after John’s death. He understood the grief! He walked me through the steps to divide and update the trusts…
It is my privilege to be working with Jim. From the moment we met, I knew that he was the person I wanted to represent me. He instilled a quiet confidence, excellent knowledge – trust and respect. I would always want Jim ‘in my corner’!..
Jim is a great resource for our trust. He is easy to contact, very knowledgeable, and patient. His personable manner makes it easy to discuss and resolve complicated issues. His explanations are relatable and down to earth. Thanks Jim!
Jim is upright, honest, and outstanding at what he does. He works hard and tries to do the right thing by his clients.
I began my relationship with My. Plitz when he was in New Mexico and enjoyed the expertise and care he provided. I felt secure with him and had confidence in the consulting work he will continue to do on my behalf as he transitions to his own estate planning firm in Indiana.
We would recommend James as a Trust Attorney without hesitation. While he is extremely knowledgeable, he is also down to earth. He takes the time to educate you using every-day layman’s language. He is genuinely interested in you and not just interested in what he needs to know to do the job and receive payment…
Jim was extremely helpful in creating our trusts and other legal documents. Since I have some training in contracts, Jim was very accommodating and worked with me on changes that I suggested. If I did not understand some aspects of the legal documents, he was very willing to provide a thorough and clear explanation…
James Plitz is the best! He is always there when you need him to help answer any questions about your Estate Planning. The Estate Planning that he does for you is outstanding! I lost my husband 4 years ago, and James was amazing in all the help that he gave me in navigating that process…
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.