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Just Tied the Knot? Here's Your Guide to Updating Estate Planning Documents

Congratulations on your recent nuptials! As you embark on this exciting journey together, it's important to not only celebrate your love but also to take practical steps to ensure your financial future is as harmonious as your relationship. One often overlooked, yet crucial, aspect of newlywed bliss is updating your estate planning documents. In this post, we'll guide you through the key steps you should take to align your estate plan with your new marital status.

1. Assess Your Existing Documents:

If either of you had existing estate planning documents before marriage, it's time to pull them out and review the terms. This may include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. Take note of the beneficiaries listed and any specific bequests or provisions.

2. Jointly Owned Assets:

As a married couple, you may acquire joint assets, such as a home or joint bank accounts. Consider how you want these assets to be distributed in the event of one partner's passing. Updating your estate plan ensures that your wishes are clear and legally binding.

3. Beneficiary Designations:

Check and update beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial assets. Marriage may influence your choices for primary and contingent beneficiaries, and it's important to reflect these changes in your documents.

4. Wills and Trusts:

Now that you're a married couple, you may want to revise your will or trust to include your spouse as a primary beneficiary. You may also want to appoint each other as the personal representative or successor trustee, respectively, to manage your affairs if one of you passes away.

5. Guardianship for Children:

If you have children or plan to in the future, updating your estate plan is crucial for specifying guardianship in case both parents are unable to care for them. Make sure your will designates a guardian whom you both trust to raise your children in line with your values.

6. Powers of Attorney:

Review and, if necessary, update your powers of attorney for financial and healthcare matters. Your spouse should be designated as the primary agent to make decisions on your behalf in case of incapacity. Discuss your preferences and ensure you both have the necessary legal authority.

7. Communication is Key:

Open and honest communication is crucial when it comes to estate planning. Discuss your individual preferences, concerns, and goals, and work together to create a comprehensive plan that reflects both of your wishes.

8. Consult with a Professional: Estate planning can be complex, and the laws governing it vary. To ensure that your documents are legally sound and aligned with your goals, consider consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney. They can provide guidance, answer questions, and help you navigate the process seamlessly. Updating your estate planning documents after getting married is a proactive and responsible step that ensures your wishes are reflected in the legal framework. By taking these steps together, you're not just building a life together but also securing your financial future in a way that aligns with your shared dreams and aspirations. Cheers to a happy and harmonious marriage!

Embarking on a lifetime adventure hand in hand. Here's to love, laughter, and updating your estate plans to reflect your shared dreams. To schedule a consultation with Yergey and Yergey, P.A., please feel free to contact us at (407) 843-0430.

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