Photo of the legal professionals at Harry Lewis Co., LPA
Photo of the legal professionals at Harry Lewis Co., LPA

Trusted In The Columbus Area
For More Than 40 Years

Photo of the legal professionals at Harry Lewis Co., LPA

Trusted In The Columbus Area For More Than 40 Years

How do I make sure my kids inherit after I remarry?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2019 | Post-divorce Estate Planning |

Ohio residents who find love a second time after divorcing should make sure that after they tie the knot with a new partner that they do not accidently disinherit their children from their previous marriage. Unfortunately, in some cases parents neglect crucial estate planning after a divorce that ends up cutting children out of some inheritances. To prevent this from happening, there are a number of steps you can take.

First, per CNBC, you should write a will. Dying without a will, also known as dying intestate, means that your property and assets will be subject to division by the courts, which can take a long time to sort out, plus you may have conflicts between competing heirs. Potentially, you could have an ex-spouse, a current spouse, children and even step-children all contending for what they believe is their share. So it is best to sort out your inheritance wishes in a will.

As you write your will, be specific. Ambiguity in your wishes can invite a court challenge. Spell out what you want your children to receive so there is no room for someone to interpret your wishes differently. Some parents opt to gift certain assets to their children so they know they will receive their inheritance, though gifting may be subject to taxation.

Keep in mind that even a will does not guarantee your wishes will be carried out. The problem is some people do not change beneficiary designations on assets such as their retirement pensions and insurance policies after their divorce. When you pass away, whoever is listed as a beneficiary will likely trump any beneficiary you may list on a will. So if you listed your former spouse as an insurance beneficiary and did not change it after your divorce, your ex will get whatever the policy pays out.

You might also want to exercise greater control over how your children receive assets. Some young adults do not handle coming into sudden amounts of money well and may waste it on frivolous expenses. This is why some parents place assets into a trust. A trust is an independent legal entity that will hold your assets and dispense them as you see fit. You may stipulate that a son or daughter receives money, but only in certain amounts and for specific purposes.

Some methods of inheritance require compliance with various federal and state laws, which may necessitate bringing in an experienced estate planning attorney to vet your estate plans and offer guidance. Since estate planning needs vary from person to person, read this article as general information and not as legal advice.