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Protecting your child's inheritance in a second marriage

Have you decided to get married again after your divorce? Only 17% of people do so after their first marriage ends. If you have made this decision, it's important to know how you can protect your children and their inheritance during a second marriage.

Check all of your financial accounts prior to getting remarried. Who is listed as the beneficiary? If your former spouse is still listed, you need to change this immediately. It's a better idea to change the beneficiaries to your children and not your new spouse. The beneficiaries listed on these accounts will override anything you have written in your will.

The rules of a 401(k) plan dictate that your spouse must be named as the beneficiary unless they agree not to be listed as the beneficiary. If you name your new spouse as the beneficiary of the 401(k) and forgot to leave some of it to your children, the spouse gets the entire account upon your death.

Are you buying a new home with your new spouse? If so, make sure it is owned as a tenancy in common. This permits you to leave your share of the home to whomever you choose, including your children.

Do not leave anything up for interpretation in your will, especially if you want to leave specific items to your children upon your death. If you are not specific, your spouse could wind up with everything.

Finding ways to protect your children's inheritance during a second marriage is vital when getting remarried. Estate planning is the best way to make this happen. Do not let your new spouse take control of the assets you bring into the marriage when they are supposed to go to your children.

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