What Newlyweds Need to Know About Estate Planning

Wedding season is winding up over summer 2024, but your own journey in financial planning and merging your lives together could be just beginning. There is a common step frequently overlooked in the marriage and wedding process, and that is combining your estate. 

You may need new estate planning documents if you have ones previously created for you as an individual with different beneficiaries and asset transfer plans. If you have never created estate planning documents before, now is a good opportunity to sit down with your financial expert, as well as an estate planning attorney. A lot changes legally when you get married, but you shouldn’t expect estate plans to instantly match your new life without some updates. 

You’ll need to consider things like creating a durable financial power of attorney that enables your spouse to take actions on your behalf, creating a power of attorney for your healthcare and living will so that your loved one is able to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to do so, and update your beneficiary designations on important accounts such as IRAs, 401ks, and life insurance policies. 

These do not automatically transfer over, so you’ll need to contact the company individually to ensure that you have updated this material in accordance with your individual plans. If you previously had another party listed as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, you may also wish to review your existing life insurance policy coverage and determine whether it is enough or not.

Having a conversation with your loved one before getting married can help you ensure a smooth transition when it comes time to bring your two lives together.

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