When you first get married, you may feel like you will be young and in love forever. Even after the honeymoon phase ends, you and your new spouse will likely derive a lot of joy from your newly-solemnized relationship.
You may not want to diminish your happiness by talking about unpleasant matters, but some earnest discussions are crucial for your new family’s stability and long-term security. Estate planning is a consideration that many otherwise responsible people delay repeatedly because they view it as unpleasant. Now that you have a spouse who depends on you, you need a will more than you ever did before.
Why a will is so important after you get married
The first and most obvious reason to draft a will after you get married is to ensure that your spouse inherits what they should from your estate. While they do have the strongest rights to inheritance from an intestate estate if you die without a will, they will be more secure when you draft documents that address what property you want them to receive.
A will is also very important if you have children from a previous marriage or other family members that require support from you. You will need to specify what you want them to receive from your estate so that it isn’t left to your spouse’s discretion to provide them with assets and resources.
Finally, the two of you can add information to your will about a guardian in the event that you have children with one another, which will be a very important protection.
You may want to create other estate planning documents as well
When you get married, you obtain a few important legal protections, including the right to have your spouse play a role in your medical care if you end up incapacitated. Of course, rather than taking those protections for granted, you may want to expand them by adding powers of attorney, trusts and advance directives to your estate plan.
Powers of attorney can give your spouse even more authority, or they can take the pressure off of your spouse by naming someone else to handle financial and medical matters on your behalf. Trusts can allow for less complicated property transfers and more oversight of what happens to inherited resources. Advance directives allow you to give your spouse specific information about your medical preferences so that they don’t feel like they have to guess what you would want in a medical emergency.
The act of planning your estate could potentially bring you and your new spouse closer together as you recognize how fragile life can be and also how important you truly are to one another. Knowing when it is time to create or update estate planning documents such as your will can help you protect your new spouse.