If you own property in North Dakota, your estate will likely be subject to its probate laws after you pass away. Therefore, it is in your best interest to review your estate plan after getting remarried as it could have an impact on yourself, your children and other beneficiaries.
Review your will or trust
Updating a will or trust may help to ensure that any children from your first marriage receive an inheritance after you pass. Otherwise, it’s possible that your current spouse may get some or all of your assets after this happens. Taking a look at existing plan documents may also minimize the risk that you forget to remove your former spouse as a trustee or take your former spouse’s name off of a beneficiary designation form.
Beneficiary designations trump a will
The reason why you want to review beneficiary designations is that they trump anything that is written in a will. Therefore, if your former spouse was named as a beneficiary to a 401(k), you may risk handing over a large sum of money to someone who is no longer in your life. It’s also a good idea to regularly look at these estate planning documents to make sure that any changes that you made have gone through properly. If a form is blank or has the wrong legal name on it, the intended recipient may have to wait for an asset to be transferred.
Getting married is one of several major life events that will ideally trigger a review of your estate plan. Others include a divorce, a birth in the family or the death of a loved one. Typically, estate plan changes can be made at any time assuming that you are of sound mind.