When you get married, you and your spouse become “one,” right? You commit to be there for each other through it all – including during difficult times. This is straightforward. But is this the case with regards to the law?
Many people think that once they get married, they do not have to give clear directions regarding their finances and other aspects of life. However, when it comes to your hard-earned assets, your health and other things dear to you, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Once you tie the knot, it is important that you update or create the following estate planning documents.
A will outlines how you wish to have your assets distributed and your minor children taken care of should you pass on before they become adults. If you die without one (intestate) the state of Kentucky may decide what will become of your estate, and this may not match your desires. If you wish to leave any assets for your spouse, it is important that you expressly indicate this in the will document.
This is a legal tool that allows you to nominate a third party to hold certain assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. After getting married, you may set up a Marital Trust to manage certain assets on behalf of your spouse. And since trusts do not go through the expensive and time-consuming probate process, your beneficiary will gain access to the assets in the trust fund more quickly than they would assets that are outlined in the will.
Healthcare power of attorney
A healthcare power of attorney designates someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be incapacitated to the point that you cannot make such decisions yourself. No matter how close you are to your spouse, you cannot be certain they will make crucial decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
An estate plan is one of the most important tools you can ever create. Find out how you can update your estate plan when your marital status changes.