Fresh off the romantic high of a wedding and honeymoon, many newlyweds are loathe to consider planning for their financial future and inevitable death. But a marriage, and the possibility of children, raise very important estate planning issues that all newly married couples should address.
Make Sure Your Spouse Will Be Provided For
Marriage is a promise to love and support another individual for the rest of your life. Part of ensuring their financial support involves preparing for the future and the unexpected. Two things that recently married couples should do in the pursuit of this goal are updating beneficiary forms and considering life insurance.
First, the easiest thing you can do is stop by your HR department, or sign into your investment accounts, and update the beneficiaries on your forms. Your workplace may offer life insurance that could benefit your spouse, or you may have a 401k plan that your loved one should inherit in the event something happens to you.
Likewise, make sure to take stock of other investment accounts that you may have outside of work. Perhaps you maintain a separate IRA or an investment account used to hold long-term savings like a down payment. Designating your spouse as beneficiary on these accounts will avoid issues down the road.
In addition to assets that already exist, you may also want to think about obtaining life insurance – particularly if you are considering children, have one spouse that makes significantly more than the other, or have only one breadwinner in the family. Life insurance is a personal decision, but if your financial circumstances warrant it, an important one.
Protect Your Own Interests Down the Road
Estate planning allows you to protect not only your loved one’s future, but also your own. In the event of an accident or an illness, you may not be able to articulate the decisions that you would like to make or have made for you. Having estate planning documents already in place can help prevent this unfortunate scenario from occurring.
First, creating a will ensures that your assets go to precisely who you want, and avoids conflict or uncertainty between family members. Without a will, there is no guarantee that the assets you have will pass to your spouse and, even if those assets are limited, it is important to protect your wishes and plans for the future.
Likewise, all married couples should immediately fill out powers of attorney and medical directives. In the event of a tragedy, you want those who know you best to have the power to make decisions on your behalf to protect you, or to minimize your pain. Having health and legal forms in place allows them to do so.
Preparing for the worst case scenario is never a fun task. But marriage creates a host of new responsibilities and obligations to the one you love. Estate planning offers you the opportunity to help secure their safety down the road, and place both of your minds at ease.
Get Newlywed Advice From The Estate Planning Attorneys at Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S.
If you are recently married, or even if you’ve been married for some time now, taking stock of your estate plans is an important task. At Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S., our estate planning attorneys are happy to sit down with you, review your documents, and answer any questions you might have. For more information, contact us online or at 253-272-2997.