Newly married couples in Massachusetts are most likely not focused on estate planning. However, getting married is one of those life events that require changes to — or the creation of — the parties’ wills and other estate-planning documents. Doing so as soon as possible helps ensure that an individual’s new family is taken care of should something happen to him or her.
In the flurry of wedding preparations and honeymoons, many people fail to discuss what would happen in the event of incapacitation or death of one or both parties. Now that the festivities are over, it may be a good time to broach the subject. Depending on the parties’ circumstances, even if one party had a will prior to the marriage, substantial changes may be needed now.
Other documents such as financial and health care powers of attorney also need to be addressed. Many spouses will be the agent for the other in both of these cases. However, it is not a good idea to assume that the other party wants the responsibility. It may be too much for a person to handle while dealing with the fact that his or her spouse is incapacitated or has passed away.
Discussing issues such as wills and powers of attorney with a new spouse can seem awkward, but it is a conversation that needs to take place. Every Massachusetts couple hopes for a long and happy marriage, but there are no guarantees in life. Creating and/or updating an estate plan after a new marriage will give everyone some peace of mind and limit the potential for conflicts and complications later.
Source: dailyfinance.com, “Estate Planning for Newlyweds“, Anna Wroblewska, July 13, 2014