First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes estate planning.

Between booking a venue, finding a dress, and planning the honeymoon the last thing on your mind is estate planning. Why would you plan for the demise of a relationship before it has even begun?

We hate to be the rain on your… wedding day, but life happens.

Here are four estate planning essentials for newly weds:

  1. Designate a beneficiary:Couples need to change the beneficiary designation of their retirement accounts to their spouse. It is undoubtedly better to have the beneficiary designations accurately reflect the spouse so that there are no delays or issues in having the benefits paid.
  1. Create a will:Without a will, state law decides who gets what assets and how much. Not all laws leave 100% of property to the spouse. We suggest meeting with an estate-planning attorney to help execute a basic will.
  1. Appoint a Power of Attorney: In an event of incapacity, where your spouse is unable to make medicallegal and financial decisions, it is important to designate a power of attorney. This will provide them with the ability to make decisions for one another. It is also important to name an alternate person in the event of an accident where both parties are injured. In fact, most young couples travel together, increasing the possibility of an accident involving both parties.
  1. Home Ownership Documents:To avoid probate and add creditor protection, it is very beneficial to have the home ownership as a joint property rather than being owned by only one of the newly weds.  Married couples should consider Tenants by Entireties form of ownership (TBE). TBE property can protect both parties from an individual spouse’s creditors. For example, if one spouse injures a third party in a car accident, the injured party will not be able to take the TBE account into a lawsuit.

So before you start hearing wedding bells, you need to hear Michael Wild explain all the ways to protect your property and assets. To learn more about estate planning, probate and asset protection, visit our website at www.wfplaw.com