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Considering inheritance timing with a second marriage

You have a lot to consider when looking at your estate plan as you get married again. A second marriage can complicate that plan, no matter when in life it happens. That's not to say you shouldn't get married, but just that you need to carefully consider what it means and what you can do about it.

One thing to think about is the inheritance timing. When do your children get their inheritance? How can you make it happen?

Say you have children from a previous marriage. Your new spouse won't leave assets to them, but you will. Well, what if you pass away first? Do your assets then pass on to your new spouse? Do your children need to wait for that person to pass away before getting the assets from you? Or do you pass the assets directly to your children at the time of your death? If so, what does that mean for your new spouse? Do they need those assets to make ends meet?

Remember that leaving the assets to your new spouse first, rather than your children, means your children may not get them at all. Your spouse controls the assets. They can spend money, sell homes, take money out of investments and do whatever they want with those assets. They may not save them for your children, especially if they have other children of their own.

Cases like this get complicated, and there often are no easy answers. Make sure you know exactly what options you have and what steps you can take to create the right plan for your family.

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