Just Married? Time to Make Estate Changes

If you have a great estate plan in place, it's probably time to update things now that you are married. Below are listed a few reminders for those just freshly wed to consider so that your estate plans are just as valid and complete as they were when you were single.

Get Your Identification Changed

Before you make changes to your estate, plan to update your identification first. That might mean changing your name and/or your address on your driver's license, along with a new Social Security card for some.

Update Your Beneficiaries

Now is the time to make some decisions about beneficiaries on life insurance policies, trusts, wills, banking, and investment accounts. You may want to list your new spouse, but you might also consider listing adult children. What you definitely need to update is anything listing an ex-spouse as a beneficiary unless you have been court-ordered to list them for the care of a minor child. Now might also be a good time to evaluate how much more life insurance you might need. You want to ensure that your new spouse can replace your income should something happen to you.

Check Your Powers of Attorney

These handy documents cover you when you are out of the country or incapacitated due to an illness. You probably want to appoint your new spouse to the job so that they can make financial decisions on your behalf when you cannot.

Update Your Healthcare Directives

You should have documents in place directing how much life support you want to have in case you are unable to make your own wishes known in the future. Your document should be specific about the level of care you want and do not want. You should discuss your wishes with your new spouse and make sure they know how to locate the document.

Update Your Will

If you don't have a will, now is a great time to create one with your new spouse. If you have a will, it needs to be updated, especially if you have adopted children, bought a new home, added assets, and more.

Create a Trust

Trusts are an excellent way to keep tighter control over what happens after your death. You can add assets to a trust and name beneficiaries. The best part of a trust is that whatever you add to the trust does not need to be probated. You can also set aside a fund for your children that cannot be contested as such things can with a will.

For more tips on how to update your estate plan after you have married, speak to an estate planning lawyer.