When it comes to planning for your eventual passing, the first thing that may come to mind is most likely a Will. While this is important, people often forget about the importance of Estate Planning.
You are probably curious as to what exactly Estate Planning entails and why you need it. Estate Planning is essentially planning for who will obtain your assets when you are deceased. Estate Planning determines who will be responsible for your estate when you pass away or are incapacitated and cannot make the decision for yourself. Your estate does not just include your finances, but also includes things like land, property, retirement accounts, and other investments. Taking care of these many different assets is important because it makes your death easier and less stressful for your loved ones who will then have to determine how to handle your assets.
Estate Planning is important for everyone and should not be overlooked. This extends even to engaged couples. You may be wondering why you should be considering your Estate Planning while you are in the engagement period when there are so many other things going on.
The moment you are officially married, you and your partner are legally and financially connected. It is important to start considering your Estate Planning together now. Below, Trust & Will has created a list of tips for engaged couples who are considering what their Estate Planning now looks like together as a couple.
Trust & Will wants to make Estate Planning easier for engaged couples. That is why this article will go in depth into each one of the tips listed above to help you figure out your next steps.
3 Estate Planning Tips for Engaged Couples
After you and your partner have made the exciting decision to get engaged, your head may be filled with thoughts of wedding planning, deciding where you want to live, and where you want to go on your honeymoon. All of these exciting and stressful tasks can put thoughts of other issues on the back burner until your life feels a little less chaotic. Although, you may be thinking you can put off Estate Planning to a later date, it is important to address this topic sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, you never know what could happen to you or your future spouse, so you want to start to prepare now.
Consider a prenuptial agreement
Often, prenuptial agreements have a negative connotation. However, they don’t have to be viewed negatively, as it may be beneficial for the desires of you and your partner to have one. A prenuptial agreement allows you and your future spouse the ability to decide what assets, if any, you each individually want to remain in control of after you get married. This can include things like finances, children from previous marriages or partnerships, and land. You will want to carefully think about all of your assets and if there is anything you may want to have sole control over.
A prenuptial agreement can be beneficial because it is in fact more powerful than a Will. It is also a legal contract, and not just bound by specific state laws, which is what helps to make it as powerful and binding as it is. Overall, it is important to discuss with your future spouse whether or not you both feel a prenuptial agreement is right for you.
Change your Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Directives
When planning for your death, figuring out your Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive are crucial. Your Power of Attorney is the legal document that gives someone the right to handle your finances after you are deceased. This can be important to consider updating once you are engaged because you and your fiancé may want each other to be the designated individual who is responsible for one another after you pass away. Therefore, you will want to update your Power of Attorney.
Your Healthcare Directive, also known as your Living Will, is a document that states what you want to happen to you in the event that you cannot make the decision for yourself, such as when you are in a coma. This can also be important to update because you may now decide that you want your future spouse to be the one who is responsible for ensuring that your wishes are met in the event that you become incapacitated.
Read more about What is the difference between a POA vs Health Care documents.
Prepare an update your Will and Trust
Before you got engaged to your partner, you may have already had a Will and Trust laid out in case you pass away. Or alternatively, this may be the first time that you have really sat down to think about creating a Will and Trust for yourself. Either way, now that you are engaged and planning to get married, this changes what your Will and Trust may look like.
Depending on what state you are in, you may now be considering a joint Will or joint Trust with your future spouse, or you may be sitting down to discuss how your eventual marriage may affect each of your individual Wills and Trusts. In either instance, it will be important to discuss how your marriage will affect your Will and Trust, as you may now decide to have joint finances, land, and homes. These are just a few examples of the many things that will impact your individual Wills and Trusts.
Estate Planning in itself can be time consuming and stressful. Once you add wedding planning to the mix, trying to find time to sit down with your future spouse to discuss Estate Planning can seem next to impossible. Trust & Will understands how difficult it can be. That is why Trust & Will offers help with these services, all conveniently done online. From Trust to creating your Will online, Trust & Will has got your back.