Inheritance Issues in Second Marriages: How You Can Avoid Them

 In Blog

Second marriages almost always come with complexities. For one, there are often concerns about how a second marriage would affect the inheritance and other provisions for children from the first marriage if their parents pass . 

Second-marriage inheritance issues can result in unwanted acrimony if the issue hasn’t been resolved before the second nuptials happen. It goes without saying that seeking legal advice is highly advisable before you sign your name on your second marriage contract. 

In this post, we’re sharing more about second-marriage issues and how they can be avoided:

Legal Rights of a Second Spouse

You might be wondering if a spouse automatically inherits all the assets of their deceased spouse. 

When one gets married to their second spouse, that second spouse will be entitled to inherit most of that person’s assets if he or she passes away. Of course, this means you might be leaving your children from a previous marriage with little to no inheritance. You see, when an individual marries for the second time, their existing Will is no longer valid. We cannot stress enough the importance of updating your will to ensure that your children will get what you intend for them to have. 

In case there is no Will, it is not unlikely for the new spouse to get everything, and this can be very difficult to accept for the children. For instance, if you are leaving the marital home to your second spouse, your children’s inheritance can be in jeopardy as it will form part of the second spouse’s assets. 

How to Avoid Inheritance Issues in Second Marriages

So, here’s the most important question  – how can one avoid inheritance issues in a second marriage? Here are some tips:

Discuss This Matter With Your Children

While it can be awkward to discuss the issue of inheritance with your children before you get married, it is something that you need to do. Know that the conversation gets easier the more openly you talk about such sensitive topics.

Being honest with your children about your second marriage and what it can entail can help mitigate any potential issues after the marriage. 

Talk to Your Spouse-to-Be About Your Concerns

When it comes to second marriages, inheritance issues can be a major concern. Inheritance issues can be complicated and loaded with emotion, so it’s important to talk to your spouse-to-be about your concerns. Have an open and honest conversation about what you both want and need in regards to inheritance and estate planning. This will help ensure that you are both on the same page and that your expectations are realistic.

Weigh In All Your Options

The reality is that you can feel torn when entering a second marriage. You may want your spouse to be financially supported and, at the same time, ensure your children receive an inheritance from you. There are a number of choices available, and all should be considered, even if they are dismissed. 

Essentially, entering a second marriage can be complicated because you have to balance the needs of your new spouse and your existing children. You need to consider all possible options while making decisions, even if they don’t seem like the best choice.

A prenuptial agreement is one option, while keeping your assets separate or setting up a trust fund are two others. Addressing these issues in a timely and sensitive way can eliminate any future emotional distress for your family.


It is important to be aware of the potential inheritance issues that can arise in second marriages. Taking the proper steps to protect your assets and plan for the future can help to ensure that your wishes are respected and that your family is taken care of. Consulting with an experienced estate lawyer can provide you with the guidance and advice necessary to make the best decisions for you and your family.

Estate Planning Lawyers Colorado offers reliable legal services from a seasoned estate lawyer who can help you with all your estate planning needs. Schedule a consultation today!

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