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Estate plans to review after marriage

Many people do not have adequate estate plans. They often believe that without significant assets, such as a house, there is no need to determine how to divide assets upon death. However, there are numerous benefits when people decide to create estate plans as soon as possible. 

One moment in life when people realize they need to take control of their financial futures is marriage. There are many documents to review after this monumental event, and spouses need to go over all of them as soon as they can after the ceremony. 

Living will

Each spouse should create a living will. Typically, each spouse gives the other one health care directives to make end-of-life decisions. In the event one spouse goes on life support, then the other spouse will have a guide for what action to take. This document can take out a lot of the confusion and heartbreak associated with such a traumatic occurrence. 

Will

Both spouses should also create traditional wills that lay out how to divide assets in the event of the person's death. Most spouses will want to make the other a primary beneficiary. Marriage often brings consolidation or gaining of property, so there will likely be more assets for both individuals to decide how to leave.

Insurance policies

Spouses will likely need to update the beneficiaries on their homeowners, life and auto insurance policies. Additionally, after marriage is a good time to review other policies in their area because they may be able to get better rates. 

Power of attorney

In addition to giving a spouse power of attorney over health care decisions, individuals will also want to give their spouse power of attorney over legal and financial decisions, too. In the event they are unable to make important financial decisions independently, then they want someone trustworthy to handle it on their behalf. 

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