Getting Engaged or Married? Estate Planning for New Couples

engaged or getting married? get an estate plan for new couplesGetting engaged or married is a time of great excitement and joy, but it is also a time when couples need to start thinking about their future together. One of the most important things that they should consider is estate planning for new couples. Estate planning involves making arrangements for the distribution of assets in the event of death or incapacity. It may not be the most romantic topic, but it is essential for couples who want to ensure that their wishes are respected and their loved ones are taken care of.  Here are some reasons why estate planning is particularly important for engaged or newly married couples:

HealthCare Directives

Healthcare directives are important for newly married couples because they allow you to make important decisions about your medical care in the event that you become unable to communicate your wishes. A healthcare directive is a legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment, including life-sustaining measures, and appoints a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

In the absence of a healthcare directive, legal disputes can arise among family members about what medical treatment should be provided. By creating a healthcare directive, you can avoid these disputes and ensure that your wishes are respected.  A healthcare directive ensures that your wishes regarding medical treatment are respected in the event that you become incapacitated. This can include decisions about life-sustaining treatment, pain management, and end-of-life care. By creating a healthcare directive, you can ensure that your spouse and medical providers are aware of your preferences and can make decisions on your behalf that align with your values and beliefs.

New Couples with Blended Families

If you have a blended family, or children from a previous relationship, you’ll want to make clear your wishes to avoid fighting during a crisis.  When you get married, your spouse automatically becomes your legal heir. This means that if you die without a will or other estate planning documents in place, your spouse will inherit your assets.  If they die, their children receive their assets, and so on.

However, if you have children from a previous marriage or other family members that you want to provide for, it is important to make sure that your estate planning documents reflect those wishes. Without a will or other estate planning documents, your assets could end up in the hands of someone you don’t want to inherit them.  Download our Free Guide to Estate Planning for more information on blended families.

Avoiding Probate

Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s estate is settled. It can be a lengthy and expensive process, and it can also be emotionally draining for surviving family members. By creating an estate plan, you can avoid probate or make the process smoother and less stressful for your loved ones.

Ensuring Your Wishes are Carried Out

An estate plan allows you to make decisions about how your assets will be distributed after you die. For example, you can specify that certain assets be given to specific people or that they be used for specific purposes. Without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to state law, which may not reflect your wishes.

Protecting Your Children

If (or when) you have children, it is important to create an estate plan that provides for their care and well-being in the event that you and your spouse die or become incapacitated. You can name a guardian for your children, set up a trust to provide for their financial needs, and ensure that their education and other expenses are taken care of.

Minimizing Taxes

Estate planning can also help minimize taxes on your estate, which can be a significant burden for your heirs. By creating a trust or other estate planning strategies, you can reduce the amount of taxes that your estate will owe.

Planning for Incapacity

Estate planning is not just about what happens after you die. It also involves planning for the possibility that you or your spouse may become incapacitated and unable to make decisions about your own care. By creating a durable power of attorney and advance health care directive, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and that your financial and medical affairs are taken care of.

Estate Planning is a Great Gift

Your family wants to ensure that your future is bright so many family members offer to “Give the Gift of Planning” to newly married couples.  You can use this link to schedule a free 15 minute discovery call now to get started.

Estate planning for new couples is an important step, especially if you are engaged or newly married.  If you are engaged, discussing an estate plan ahead of time can avoid misunderstandings later.  A Pre-nuptial agreement is also quite common for newly engaged couples and helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page. By creating an estate plan, couples can protect their spouse’s interests, avoid probate, ensure their wishes are carried out, protect their children, minimize taxes, and plan for incapacity. It is an essential topic for couples who want to plan for a happy and secure future together.