Second Marriage Estate Planning Checklist


Posted over 5 years ago. Applies to Pennsylvania, 5 helpful votes



Terminate, Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will From Prior Marriage

You have to remove your ex-spouse! Even if you removed him/her prior to the second marriage, not all provisions of a new will or POA will hold up after a second marriage. You must re-sign these documents after the second marriage!!


Consider Pre-Nuptial Agreement for Second Marriage

You can, but do not have to, enter into a full blown pre-nuptial agreement dealing with division of assets upon divorce. Instead you might consider an ESTATE PLANNING PRE-NUP. This just insures that you can give your assets to your children and not just your second spouse. Many states provide laws that require a marital share for a surviving spouse. This Estate Plannig Pre-Nup serves to waive those rights and does not have to deal with divorce related topics. This serves to protect your children's estate share if so desired.


Create New Will, POA and Living Will for Second Marriage

Begin to plan mmediately after second marriage. Who inherits your estate, your second spouse? your children? some combination of both? Does the inheritance go to a trust or outright to the beneficiary? Who should be your POA? your Executor?


Update Beneficiary designations for Life Insurance, IRA's and 401 K's

You don't want first spouse do you? You might want children or you might want second spouse? There is a lot to think about!


Update title to bank and stock accounts

You have to give significant consideration to the titling of assets. Do you want them to be jointly owned with spouse? Should they be in your name so you can give them to your children at death?


Consider a Trust for Surviving Second Spouse

This trust benefits him or her during lifetime with remainder to your children. This might allow best of both worlds!!

Additional Resources

Doug's Estate Planning Blog

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