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Protecting assets in a second marriage

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2019 | Divorce

People in Texas who are getting married for a second time may want to take steps to safeguard their finances and ensure that children from a previous marriage still receive their assets after their death. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may be useful.

A prenup can specify the assets that each person is bringing into the marriage and how any shared assets will be treated in case of divorce. People may want to keep any assets they want their children to have separate since this can make inheritance easier. The couple can then create a postnup as well after they are married to reaffirm the earlier agreement.

Getting the estate plan in order is also important. At minimum, the will needs to be updated. However, some people might want to create a trust to ensure that the surviving spouse has income to live on but that certain assets will eventually pass to children. It might also be necessary to update beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other investments. Beneficiary designations override wills and trusts, so it is important for them to be consistent with those documents. Multiple beneficiaries could be named to ensure that both the spouse and children get a portion of these accounts.

Creating a prenup and specifying what assets will remain separate can be particularly important in a community property state like Texas, where assets acquired after marriage may be considered shared and might be subject to equal division. Couples who are getting a second divorce might not have to worry about sharing child custody, but they may be concerned about income, retirement assets and other investments. Inheritances are usually considered individual property, but this can become more complicated if the inheritance is mixed with shared marital assets.