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Will your kids lose their inheritance when you remarry?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2021 | Divorce

Loneliness after a divorce or the death of a spouse is common. Even those who at one time promised themselves they would never pursue a romantic relationship again may find themselves yearning for companionship.

Finding love a second time can make you feel most fortunate. However, a second marriage later in life comes with certain complications, especially if you already have children. Even if your children have already moved out of the house and live on their own, your new marriage could have drastic implications for their future.

When you remarry, your spouse will have a stronger claim to an inheritance than your children do. What steps can you take to prevent a remarriage from eliminating the inheritance you want to leave for your children?

Talk about the issue before you get married

The simplest solution to the possible impact of a second marriage on the inheritance rights of your children is a prenuptial agreement. Your spouse can agree in writing to the terms you have already set in your estate plan.

For example, you can establish that your house remains your separate property, although they can live there until they die. However, they cannot refinance, sell or give away the property, as the ownership rights will pass to your children when you die.

You might want to designate certain assets like financial accounts or ownership interest in a business as the legacy for your children. Your spouse should know going into the marriage which assets will be marital property that they can inherit and which will remain the separate property of your children.

Make sure your spouse receives equal consideration in the contract

When you remarry, you may have far more assets than your spouse does, but that doesn’t mean you can execute a truly one-sided prenuptial agreement. If your contract only protects your property and does nothing for your spouse, they might be able to challenge that document after you die and lay claim to the assets you wanted to protect for your children.

To prevent claims of an unconscionable or unethical prenuptial agreement, you need to offer something of valuable consideration to your future spouse. Understanding the rules for prenuptial agreements will make it easier to draft one that protects you when you remarry.