So, now you are married. Have you thought about any financial or estate planning now that you are newlyweds? Maybe going to buy your first home? As a married couple, you may begin to acquire joint assets and, if both of you were involved in a sudden accident and passed away, how would you want those assets distributed among your family members? Maybe you have a better relationship with one set of parents than the other? Maybe you would want a particular sibling to receive your assets? Or maybe there is a sibling you do not get along with and there is no way you would want that person receiving your assets?
A Will, a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, a Living Will and a Health Care Surrogate designation should be prepared for both a husband and the wife so that, in the event an accident or sudden illness, a plan is in place which would allow the surviving spouse or the parents of the husband and/or wife to be able to handle any contingency, with the hope that a guardianship can be avoided, or that an estate can be administered smoothly and in accordance with the deceased husband/wife’s wishes. Also, the consideration of joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, payable on death accounts and transfer on death accounts along with the proper designation of beneficiaries for IRAs, 401(k)s, 403bs and other similar accounts (i.e., life insurance) should be reviewed for the proper transfer in the event of an unforeseen passing or illness.
Special thanks to “my darling husband” at Browning, Meyer, and Ball for “Stages of Life” inspiration.