Getting Remarried? Atlanta Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Shares 3 Conversations To Have Before You Say “I Do”
Posted on Dec 05, 2012
Wedding season is in full bloom with many area couples trying their hand at love for the second, third or even fourth time. But before you legally blend families and assets, Atlanta estate planning and prenuptial agreements attorney, Steve Worrall, reveals 3 tough conversations every couple should have before saying “I do”.
ATLANTA, GA – Wedding season is in full bloom with many area couples trying their hand at love for the second, third or even fourth time.
But as many newly remarried couples will soon find out, starting a new life together can get downright complicated, especially when there are premarital assets and children from previous marriages thrown into the mix.
As unromantic as it seems, talking about, and planning for, these upcoming life changes, can save the new couple (and their extended families) from much confusion, tension and heartache should complications such as death, incapacity or marital problems arise in the future.
“As much as newly remarried couples wish to focus on future happiness and a fresh start, the process of blending families and assets can cause significant problems down the road,” says Steve Worrall, an estate planning lawyer and prenuptial agreements attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. “Especially if there are premarital assets and children involved, couples need to be honest and plan ahead to avoid financial or legal nightmares should a crisis occur,” he adds.
To ensure couples start their new marriage on the right foot, Worrall recommends having the following 3 conversations before saying “I do”:
1. How do we handle pre-marital assets?
A large majority of couples who get remarried come into the relationship with pre-marital assets, including property, cash settlements, life insurance policies, etc. It’s critical to discuss whether or not these assets will be combined, but also what should happen to these assets if you suddenly pass away. This is especially important for people with children from a previous relationship who may want to leave this portion of their estate to their kids, rather than the new spouse.
2. What are your wishes for incapacity?
Everyone remembers the legal nightmare Terry Shiavo’s parents faced trying to keep their incapacitated daughter alive while her husband sought to remove her feeding tube. He claimed that’s what she would have wanted, but was it really? We’ll never know because her wishes were not put in writing. Doing so would have saved her family thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of heartache when her accident occurred. That’s why before getting remarried, it’s always a good idea for couples to discuss their health care wishes openly and put such wishes in writing should temporary or permanent incapacity occur. This will help to reduce animosity, strife and lengthy court battles following a medical emergency.
3. What happens to the kids?
When blending a family, it’s important to discuss what should happen to the kids if the death of one or both parents occurred. There are many scenarios which could arise– none of which may be what the deceased parent wanted for their children. This could include the new stepparent getting full custody or children from a previous marriage getting separated from biological children of the new marriage. Planning in advance for these situations will help ensure a smoother transition for the kids during an otherwise devastating and emotional time.
“By being open and honest, couples getting remarried can thoughtfully work through these issues and make a mutually agreeable plan for the future. Doing so could spare the family from years of heartache and court battles if the unthinkable occurs,” says Worrall.
For more information about Steve Worrall, please visit http://georgiafamilylaw.com or call 770.425.6060.