Welcome back to part two of estate planning for newlyweds. Our estate lawyers in Cary NC hope to help you get your estate in order so that you can continue on this journey in your life knowing that you and your spouse are protected. There are other steps you should take, beyond getting the marriage license and changing your name, that will ensure you and your spouse are prepared for the future.
More Tips for Newlyweds | Estate Lawyers in Cary NC
In part one our estate lawyers in Cary NC discussed creating a will and updating insurance and retirement policies to reflect this change in your life. It is important to keep your estate plan accurate so that the right people are protected should something happen to one or both of you.
Now let’s take a look at a few other tips to help protect you and your spouse.
Update your titles
No, we are not talking about updating your names to reflect your new status as Mr. and Mrs. We are talking about updating the titles to anything you own. If one or both of you own houses and want them to be jointly owned the titles will need to be updated to reflect that. The deed can be placed in a joint tenancy that means if one of you should pass away, the other automatically inherits it. This does not only apply to homes, but other real estate property such as a business.
Keep in mind that there could be tax benefits in adding joint ownership. Make an appointment with an estate lawyer in Cary NC at Eldreth Law Firm to discuss this possibility and other state laws pertaining to estate planning.
Create powers of attorney
If something should happen and you are not able to make financial or medical decisions on your own, you will want your spouse to be able to take over. A power of attorney gives someone rights to make financial decisions in the case that you become incapacitated. A health care directive gives someone the ability to make medical decisions for you if you are not able to make them. Most couples will designate each other, but anyone can be named. For instance, if one of you feels that financial decisions should be made by another family member or close friend with good business acumen, then he or she can be named rather than the spouse. In the case of medical decisions, a living will can also be established to give specific instructions should one of you develop a terminal illness or other devastating medical condition.
Plan for care of children and pets
If you have children from a previous marriage, children together, or own pets, you will need to plan for their care should something happen to both of you. A will can outline who you want to become guardians of your children or pets. You can also plan how your assets will either be distributed to your children or used to help care for them.
When planning your estate, it is important that you and your spouse discuss what will be designated to whom so that there is no confusion later on. Call us at Eldreth Law Firm to talk about the estate planning process. It will be a wedding gift for you and your spouse that will keep on giving for a lifetime. Our estate lawyers in Cary NC are here to help.