If I remarry in Latin America will my money in the US become property of my new non-American wife?

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If I remarry in Latin America will my money in the US become property of my new non-American wife?

I am a widower in my 70s. I am a naturalized US citizen. I return to my county in South America yearly. I have 2 adult children to whom I would like to leave my money when I pass. I am not wealthy but I have some savings. If I marry a woman in my native country in South America, will any of my US funds become hers to claim upon my death? I want to protect my assets and for only my children to have that money, which I earned over a lifetime with their deceased mother.

Asked on November 19, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is very wise for you to plan ahead regarding your assets prior to marriage.  What you need to di is to enter in to a pre-nuptial agreement prior to your marriage declaring the assets as separate property and having her acknowledge that in writing. Or better yet, seek help from an estate planner regarding the assets and possibly setting up a trust with your children as the beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries upon your death.  You do have to be careful because wives are entitled to some of the assets of your estate but making sure that it is minimal under the laws here and there are important.  And really is she has assets and other beneficiaries they should be protected from you as well.  Good luck. 


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