After an engagement, the whirlwind of wedding planning starts. Even planning for a small wedding comes with a lot of moving parts, not to mention considerable expense. So when I suggest to newly engaged couples that they might want to do their estate planning while they are planning their wedding, they oftentimes find the idea to be overwhelming – but it does not have to be.
The process of estate planning encompasses conversations that couples should be having as they plan to join their lives together. Getting married symbolizes the joining of two lives in many ways – two people join on a path together through life, families and households are combined, as well as finances and futures goals and aspirations. A vital part of planning for a future together includes doing your joint estate plan.
Many newlyweds enter into a marriage without any estate planning of their own. Even if they do have wills of their own, it is important to update the wills to include your new spouse or your estate could be distributed under Minnesota law. Estate planning allows you and your spouse to make important decisions together, such as who will be the personal representative, or executor, of your estate. If you have children, or plan to have children, you decide together who will be named as guardians and if you want to establish a trust to delay inheritance until your child has reached a certain age of maturity.
Even when lives are joined, it does not often mean that all finances are. Couples frequently maintain their own accounts. Unless they name each other as a signer to their individual accounts, one spouse will not be able to access the other’s accounts should there be an accident or emergency situation. Part of a comprehensive estate plan includes a power of attorney, and naming your spouse as your attorney in fact will allow them to make important financial decisions, on both of your behalves, should one you not be able to make or communicate your authorization or approval.
When joining your futures together, it is important to make a plan for your future together as well. Doing your estate planning does not have to be an added hassle or create overwhelm. Working with an attorney that understands the pressures engaged and newlywed couples face can save you time and expense while going through the estate planning process. Schromen Law, LLC strives to make the process easy and effortless so in the early stages of marriage, couples can enjoy the benefit of the peace of mind that comes with knowing your estate plan is complete.
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.