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New marriages often require new estate plans

As they age, people often say the world used to be simpler. Sometimes, it is a simple matter of perspective, but it is plainly true in some cases. For example, old age by modern measures was rare in previous centuries, and divorce was nearly unheard of when religious orders had more power in society.

Divorce is becoming less common after a spike at the turn of the 21st century, but people above the age of 55 are seeing the ends of more marriages in court. What's more, people in this age group are more likely than not to remarry, which can complicate intricate and important estate plans.

When people remarry later in life, they have to consider the consequences to children they may have had earlier in life. The lack of an updated will, or the absence of any will, may disinherit the issue from a previous marriage simply by omission. Spouses at the time of an estate holder's death may end up inheriting everything.

"A conversation about estate planning is absolutely critical in remarriages," said a Connecticut estate planning professional. "It's emotional and hard to talk about, but the last thing you want to do is leave adult kids with a disaster."

New estate plans after a new marriage can help everyone learn where they stand as far as inheritance goes. These plans can avoid long and damaging fights in probate court as well as the loss of assets that seemed to be clearly intended for a child or other beneficiary. An attorney can help put these issues together in a coherent estate plan.

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