Cover Image for From 'I Do' to 'What If': Estate Planning Must-Do's for Newlyweds - Part 2

From 'I Do' to 'What If': Estate Planning Must-Do's for Newlyweds - Part 2

Getting married and starting a new chapter in your life is an exciting time. It’s also a time that requires a lot of housekeeping such as updating your address if your marriage includes a move, changing your tax filing status with your employer, and adding your new spouse to your bank and credit card accounts. 

But did you know that creating (or updating) your estate plan should also be on your post-wedding to-do list? 

Last week we started to explore the key estate planning components every newlywed couple needs to protect their rights, wishes, and plans for their assets now and in the future. This week, we’re continuing the conversation with three more estate planning must-do’s for newlyweds. If you missed last week’s blog, be sure to click this link to catch up.

04 | Establishing a Living Trust

You might be surprised to see a Trust listed before a Will, but here's why it's essential. Whether you're newly married and anticipating changes or blending families later in life, a Trust offers a comprehensive way to ensure your wishes are honored.

Unlike a Will, assets in a Trust bypass probate, saving time and preventing conflicts. With a Trust, you can dictate how assets are distributed over time, providing for children and step-children while avoiding family disputes.

Moreover, a Trust allows for custom plans to manage assets and protect loved ones long into the future. By incorporating contingencies and incentives, you can guide heirs' behavior and safeguard assets from potential threats.

05 | Crafting a Will

While a Trust may cover most assets, a Will serves as a backup, directing any remaining assets not included in the Trust. It ensures forgotten assets are poured over into the Trust and distributed according to your wishes.

Even if you have few assets or other estate plans, a Will is essential to ensure your wishes are followed, especially regarding charitable donations or unforeseen circumstances. State laws may dictate asset distribution without a Will, making it prudent to have one, particularly after marriage.

06 | Naming Legal Guardians for Minor Children

Selecting and legally documenting guardians for minor children is critical, whether from prior relationships or planned for the future. Designating both short-term and long-term guardians ensures your children are always cared for by trusted individuals, avoiding potential conflicts and court interventions.

Planning for a Lifetime of Happiness

If you’re newly married or are planning to be married soon, I wish you true happiness in your marriage and your new life ahead, and I truly want to help you protect the dream and future you are building with your new spouse. With the excitement of your wedding coming to an end, now is the best time to create an estate plan for your new family, and it may even be the most crucial time to create a plan for them. 

We often think that incapacity and death simply don’t happen to newly married couples, but unfortunately, no one can predict the future. If an illness or tragedy does strike you or your new spouse, the ramifications of not having an estate plan in place can be even worse than for a couple who has been married for a long time.

No matter the stage of your relationship or marriage, I can help make sure your spouse and family are protected and cared for now and for years to come. Through our Estate Planning Session process, I’ll guide you from the heart on the estate planning questions and decisions that are essential for your family’s well-being and that feel comfortable to you.

To learn more about how I can help protect your family’s future, schedule a free 15-minute discovery call today. 

Here’s to a very happy ever after. 

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