It doesn’t matter if you are planning to get married, a newly married couple or have been married for years. It would help if you had an estate plan. You need to understand that things change when you get married, and you need to be a bit more careful now. Marriage is a huge responsibility, and we know that every person wants only the best for their spouse. If you are newly married, you must understand that estate planning will give you a lot of benefits from the start. Also, the couples who have been married for years should enroll themselves in estate planning.
First of all, forget the old misconception that you don’t need an estate plan as you are just getting started. You must know that everybody needs an estate plan, especially now that you are responsible not only for yourself. Humans can get injured or die at any age and time. We don’t control all life situations, like car accidents or incidental death, so it’s better to have an estate plan to secure our spouse/children. We know that most young people put off estate planning because they think it is for old folk. It’s good to stay prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Estate Planning for Married Couples
You must know that estate planning for married couples comes with many benefits and powers. Also, it gives the freedom to the team to decide how they want to use or even hand over their estate. In addition, estate planning also helps you plan your retirement and medical care services. Here, we will talk about some significant importance of planning your estate with your partner.
Secure your spouse’s future
We think that planning an estate can secure your spouse’s future or, at the minimum, simplify it while they grieve and take care of pressing affairs. In addition, a good estate plan can help avoid probate, mitigate taxes or even help make burial decisions.
Protection from a third-party claim
An estate plan can help protect your spouse from a potential third-party claim. Neither you nor your estate planning attorney can predict your beneficiary’s personal or financial situation when the time comes. Seeing that assets don’t pass outright to them but instead pass into trust for their benefit at times can be the difference between them receiving money or not.
Planning your estate now while the current gift tax exemption is at an all-time high can potentially save your spouse a lot of taxes.
Must-Have estate planning documents for a married couple
If one of you becomes ill and unable to make your own medical decision, a hospital or medical facility might require a Healthcare Proxy to speak with your spouse. As a result, married couples usually become each other’s Healthcare Proxies.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney means that if something happens to you or you aren’t in a condition to make financial decisions, then someone else like your spouse can make those decisions for you. For example, you are the breadwinner in the family, yet you end up in a coma due to a car accident. Your spouse may need to access bank accounts to pay rent or mortgage or even may need to sell a property to sustain during this time. Most married couples name each other as one another’s Power of Attorney, followed by a grown child or close relative they trust.
A Will is part of essential planning. It is one of the first estate planning documents that new couples tend to set up. A will can discuss basic wishes as per assets and what happens to them when you are no longer around and designate guardians for minor children.
A living Will
Yes! It is essential to have a living. Some decisions can be difficult for a spouse or child to take upon themselves. If you don’t wish to have resuscitation or tube feeding, if god forbid that time arises, you want to make that decision for yourself and not leave it to your loved ones.
A simple step where you leave some instructions/wishes and advice as per your funeral so your partner can take care of it as you wish.
Hopefully, you and your spouse will go through every document carefully a will or estate plan should be clear. Without an estate plan, you must understand that your partner can suffer having to go through probate while mourning or being forced into difficult medical decisions that no one should have to make for a loved one. Therefore, we think for the sake of peace of mind, every married couple should have an estate plan.
You must know that life insurance policies and other insurance policies don’t always have to be in your will. You may contact your insurance policy provider to add a nominee name. We believe that planning is you reaching into the future and taking charge. Regardless of how you plan and the length you take, planning even for the smallest of events is always better than pretending that it can’t or won’t happen to you.
To sum it all up, planning, especially for a married couple, is essential. If you love your spouse, show it by thinking of their future. Help safeguard them from headaches such as medical decisions or probate. Protect your assets from creditors and predators. Preserve your wealth, small or large, for the benefit of your loved one. Seek guidance from an experienced estate planning lawyer, cross your T’s and dot your I’s as your loved one’s matter.