The First 3 Estate Planning Documents You Need After Getting Married

People who are cynical about love will tell you that you are nuts to get married, especially if a divorce blasted their financial plans to smithereens.  Personal financial celebrity Suze Orman supports your decision to get married, if that is what you and your partner decide to do, but she is outspoken about the fact that you are nuts if you get married and do not promptly get started on your estate plan.  Marriage changes a lot of things about your finances, whether you and your spouse merge all your finances or keep separate bank accounts and title some assets in just one spouse’s name; some of the automatic changes make your life simpler, and some of which make it more complicated.  Since getting married requires a hefty dose of optimism, estate planning is the farthest thing from many newlyweds’ minds, since estate planning is about death, except that estate planning isn’t about death; it is about family.  A Tampa probate lawyer can help to update your estate plan to reflect your current family status.

Writing Your Will

If you do not write a will, your spouse will inherit everything when you die, whether or not you have children together.  If you have children from a previous marriage, they will inherit half and your spouse will inherit the other half.  Even if this is how you want your property to be divided, you should still write a will, if only to state your wish about who should act as personal representative of your estate during probate.  If you want to leave any property to someone besides your spouse or children (such as your siblings, extended family members, or friends), then you definitely need a will.

Updating Your Life Insurance Policy

If you are young when you buy a life insurance policy, it costs you only pennies a month, which is a reasonable price to pay for something you hope you will never need to use.  When young, unmarried people buy life insurance policies, they often list their parents as beneficiaries.  If you bought your life insurance policy before you married your spouse, you should update the beneficiary, unless you really want your parents to get the insurance payout in the unlikely event that the worst happens.

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A durable power of attorney for healthcare indicates your wishes for the medical treatment you should receive if you become too ill to voice your wishes.  It will save your spouse the heartbreaking task of having to fight with other members of your family about what your wishes for your care are if you are seriously ill.

Contact an Attorney for Help

Wealth is not the key to happiness in a marriage, but clear communication about decision making is.  You don’t need to be wealthy to build an estate plan, and an estate planning lawyer can help you get started.  Contact David Toback for help today.