Those are the words we use on our website at the Bay Area Law Offices of Connie Yi to signify — and underscore — the impact that a second or subsequent marriage will likely have on an individual’s estate plan.
The bottom line in such cases is invariably this: Because marriage is a seminal and life-changing event, it mandates material adjustment in key estate planning documents.
Like wills, for instance, especially if their central provisions are at odds with what a divorcing couple agrees to pursuant to dissolution negotiations. We duly note at our proven estate planning law firm that a grantor’s plan and related written instruments “must comport with the terms of a divorce settlement.” If they don’t, a court will quickly find them to be unlawful and unenforceable.
There can be many things to think about and adjust in the planning realm when a divorced party embarks on a new union. Insurance contracts must be scrutinized and perhaps changed, for example. Those contracts stand on their own. Failure to update an agreement could yield the unintended result that payments upon a covered person’s death are made to an ex-spouse.
Steps must also be timely taken to protect the interests of children from a former marriage, it being the case sometimes that the current spouse of a decedent will seek to block estate benefits intended for those individuals. Creating trusts for the children is one mechanism sometimes employed to ensure that a grantor’s wishes are fully promoted.
An experienced estate planning and administration attorney can help a divorcing party — especially one contemplating a second or subsequent marriage – take relevant safeguards and ensure that all key planning goals are fully promoted.