In the midst of finding the perfect dress, choosing a venue, and tasting countless cakes, Cary newlyweds often overlook the importance of finding a reputable wills and trusts lawyer. It’s easy to get caught up in planning for the wedding and to forget about planning for the marriage! Really, though, the beginning of your new life together is exactly the right time to start your estate planning.
Perhaps you think it’s unnecessary because you don’t have what you would consider an “estate.” Wills are not just about leaving property to your (potentially not-even-born-yet) children, however. They help protect you and your new spouse, as well as other family members, should something unexpected happen.
Living wills are a powerful example of why newlyweds need a wills and trusts lawyer. A living will declares your wishes in case you are unable to make them clear on your own. Would you want to live on life support? Do you wish to donate your organs? Are there medical procedures that you absolutely would not want to undergo? Your attorney can help you draw up the paperwork that makes your wishes clear and relieves your new spouse of trying to make those very difficult decisions in what would likely be the worst time of his or her life.
Along with a living will, you will likely also need to create powers of attorney. These will designate who is able to make decisions for you, both medically and financially. In many cases, this will be your spouse, but what would happen if you were both unable to make quick decisions for yourself? A wills and trusts lawyer will help you create these important documents according to your local laws and regulations.
If you should suddenly pass away, would your spouse or other family members have access to your insurance? Your bank accounts? Your property? The answer is not as obvious as it seems. Your estate could easily end up in probate, meaning that those who should inherit from you are denied access for months or even years. Putting an estate plan in place can help relieve some of this burden while speeding up the process for your loved ones. It can also save them considerable amounts of money.
A wills and trusts lawyer will help you make sense of what needs to be done, and the process is actually far easier than many people imagine. It’s also less expensive than you might think, and certainly less expensive than having your new spouse or family denied inheritance that should rightfully be theirs. Just consider it one more administrative task that needs to be taken care of as you add your spouse’s name to your accounts, get a driver license with your new name, or take care of the other paperwork that comes along with being a newlywed.
At Carolina Family Estate Planning, we often work with newly married couples to create a plan that works now, but also takes into consideration your wishes and plans for the future (i.e. children, acquisition of new assets, business growth). To get started, simply call our office at 919-443-3035 and ask to schedule a Peace of Mind Planning Session.