Life is dynamic, and so are the circumstances surrounding marriage. Your estate plan should always reflect the current status of your life, accounting for changes in assets, relationships and even new additions to the family.
Failure to update your estate plan regularly can lead to unintended consequences and disputes among loved ones. If you can’t remember the last time you updated your estate plan, insights on when to do so during marriage can help you make informed decisions moving forward.
Marriage and the initial estate plan
When you tie the knot, it marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. While initial excitement revolves around shared dreams and goals, it’s also crucial to establish a solid foundation for your financial future. This is the ideal time to create or update your estate plan. For newlyweds, outlining how assets will be distributed in the event of death or incapacitation is essential. Drafting a will, designating beneficiaries and establishing power of attorney are integral components of the estate planning process at this time.
Expanding your family
The birth or adoption of a child is a joyous occasion, but it also brings added responsibilities. As your family grows, so does the need to revisit your estate plan. Confirm that your children are financially and emotionally provided for by creating/updating guardianship designations, insurance policies and trusts.
Financial milestones and changes
As your marriage progresses, you may accumulate wealth through joint ventures, investments or property acquisitions. Try to ensure you update your estate plan regularly to reflect your increased net worth and desires related to the distribution of your assets in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Effective estate planning is a dynamic and ongoing process, especially in the wake of key life events. Regularly updating your estate plan can help ensure that it remains a true reflection of your wishes and safeguards the financial well-being of your family.