It’s the time of year for beautiful weddings, fun receptions, delicious cakes, special gifts, and romantic honeymoons. While this is a joyous time for the families of newlyweds, it’s also time for you and your new spouse to plan for your future – for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, here are some estate planning basics for newlyweds.
Why Newlyweds Need to Plan Their Estates
Why should newlyweds care about estate planning? Because everyone – young or old, married or single – needs to protect themselves and those they love.
Many couples, however, spend more time planning their honeymoon than planning the best way to protect each other.
What Happens Without an Estate Plan?
The fallout of becoming incapacitated or dying without an estate plan is serious, expensive, and painful. It can cause financial ruin and family discord that may last for generations.
Without an estate plan:
· You leave your spouse and the rest of your family in the dark. They won’t know what you would want to happen if you became incapacitated or died. This often leads to family fights as each individual argues for what he or she thinks you would have wanted.
· You’ll leave a heavy burden on your loved ones to make tough decisions about medical care and any withdrawal of life support.
· The court or state law, not you, will decide who makes health care decisions if you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
· A judge, not you, will decide who raises your children.
· The court can lock down your assets so even your spouse has to get court permission before making a financial move.
· Any assets you leave to loved ones can be taken by their divorcing spouses, bankruptcy creditors, medical creditors, predators, and frivolous lawsuits.
· You may accidentally disinherit your spouse and your children.
· Your pet could end up in a shelter or euthanized.
What Should You Do?
We invite you and your new spouse to contact our office to set up a meeting. We’ll walk you through how to protect each other and those you love; how to protect your pets; and how to protect your assets and make things easier for you and your families. Call now; we look forward to hearing from you.