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Wills, powers of attorney need an update when remarrying

Not all first marriages work out, and many divorcees in Oklahoma go on to find happiness in second or even third marriages. However, these subsequent marriages can require special attention during estate planning. Wills, trusts and other important documents often need to be revised, otherwise there is the possibility that a person's true final wishes might not actually be respected.

Children from previous marriages are one of the biggest issues that people face when estate planning after a second marriage. Many people express concern that leaving a significant chunk of their estate to their new spouse might also mean that their children will be disenfranchised. While wills are a necessary aspect of virtually any thorough estate plan, they are not quite adequate for addressing this situation alone. Instead, different trusts can be utilized alongside wills to ensure that both new spouses and children from prior marriages are cared for after a benefactor's death.

Those without children should still be sure to readdress their estate plan when remarrying. Despite common belief, remarrying does not negate a will that was made during a prior marriage. Regardless of what a divorce agreement states or what either party might agree to, failing to revise a will that still leaves part of an estate to an ex-spouse can cause serious issues. Living wills and powers of attorney should also be revised, as these documents give whoever is named the instructions for an incapacitated person's medical care and the legal right to make decisions on their behalf, even if the person named is an ex.

Remarrying after a previously failed marriage can be a truly joyous occasions, but the process is not without issues of its own. Extra care and attention is often needed when reviewing wills and other estate planning documents. When done in a timely manner, most people in Oklahoma who are settling into their second marriages can be sure that their last wishes will still be observed.

Source:, "Money Matters: Financial and estate planning for second marriages", Marc Hebert, Aug. 18, 2016

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