Engaged couples aren't likely to find "update the estate plan" on many prewedding checklists, but it's an important to-do — especially if the upcoming marriage isn't your first, or if you have kids from a prior relationship.
Many Americans have made a second or third trip down the aisle. In 2013, 40 percent of marriages were a remarriage for one or both partners, according to a Pew Research Center report.
It's even more common to have lackluster estate planning. This summer, a survey from planning site USLegalWills.com estimated that 63 percent of Americans don't have a will, and 9 percent have one that's outdated. (The survey polled 2,012 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.)
That combination of remarriage and out-of-date documents can be problematic for a new spouse and your kids. "In today's environment, clients shouldn't be as afraid of taxes as they are a parent's new spouse," attorney John Scroggin, a partner with Scroggin & Company in Roswell, Georgia, told advisors last month at the Financial Planning Association's annual conference in Baltimore.
Here's what to consider to ensure everyone's interests are protected: