Estate Planning | No matter the age, getting married later in life can be an exciting time. Many couples can overlook the legal aspects of joining two households. The following estate planning tips can ensure you’re legally and lawfully protected after a marriage:

 

  1. Create a will
    • No matter how old you are, developing a will is key to ensure all assets are left to your spouse. Some states will automatically grant property to the spouse, but developing a will that ensures this is the best practice. Drafting a will is crucial for ensuring your spouse is taken care of financially and legally.

 

  1. Update real estate documents
    • Do you own real estate property with your new spouse? If so, it can be beneficial to ensure both spouses are on home ownerships documents. By designating both spouses as joint tenants, you can avoid a probate process and ensure a surviving spouse will receive the property. Homestead laws can also differ from state to state, but can include a decrease in property tax and creditor protection in some situations.

 

  1. Review your life insurance policy
    • Getting married is a major life event, and a great time to review your life insurance policy. Dependent on the couple’s needs, it could be necessary to upgrade life insurance policies to ensure coverage is suitable.
  2. Develop powers of attorney and health advance directives
  • Getting married does not automatically guarantee power of attorney in the case of a serious incident where one spouse is unable to make health decisions for themselves. Power of attorney allows that person legal authority to make decisions if the principal individual is incapacitated. Ensuring power of attorney documents is a crucial step in estate planning to ensure spouses are properly protected in case of an emergency.

 

Contact the law offices or Mortarello Law if you are looking for assistance in estate planning following a marriage.