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Getting married for a second time? Estate planning is essential

Delaware residents who are getting married for the second time have numerous financial issues to consider. Outside of the day-to-day money matters facing any married couple, those who are remarrying need to consider estate planning to ensure that each person's loved ones are provided for in the manner in which they desire. One of the reasons why this is so important is due to the surviving spouse's right to take an "elective share" of the decedent's estate no matter what his or her will says.

In Delaware, a surviving spouse is entitled to up to one-third of the decedent's estate. Most residents want to ensure that their new spouses are taken care of after they pass away. However, for those who have children and/or grandchildren from a prior marriage, other arrangements might be needed.

Each party can waive his or her right to the elective share by written agreement. A prenuptial agreement can be used to that end since it is not only a document executed in anticipation of divorce, but can also serve as an estate-planning tool. Furthermore, each party can identify the separate property brought to the marriage that will not be available to the other spouse upon death.

There are numerous ways that estate planning can help residents who are marrying for a second time. Since each party's circumstances are unique, it would be beneficial to discuss the options available with an attorney who routinely practices in this area. It should be possible to design a plan that meets all of an individual's needs.

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

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