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Remarriage, Step Children and Your Will

Have you recently remarried? Do you or your new spouse have children from a previous marriage? If so, it is time for you to review and revise your estate plan. In Georgia, when you die without a will, the state has laid out a scheme for distributing your assets among your heirs. Your heirs are your spouse and your children. If you have no spouse or no children, then your parents are your heirs. If you have no spouse, no children and no living parents, then your siblings will inherit everything. If you have both a spouse and children, then they divide your assets between them with your spouse taking no less than one third of your assets and your children dividing the remaining two thirds.

The problem with having stepchildren is that they are not your heirs and will not inherit any of your assets. Many times this is by design if you have a will. However, if you have a spouse and no children of your own and your spouse has children from a previous relationship, he or she will inherit your entire estate at your death. She then has no obligation to return any of the property she just inherited to your side of the family. Instead, the usual situation is that your spouse will leave all of your assets to her children. If this is not what you want, you should see a qualified estate planning lawyer immediately and have your estate plans revised so that your family will inherit your assets.

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