Spring and summer are marriage season. Everywhere you look you seem to find a bride and groom walking down the aisle. If you were recently married, go ahead – take a breather, enjoy your honeymoon – and then get serious.
While estate planning isn’t going to be on the top of mind during your early months of marriage, you may want to start thinking about it. Estate planning and financial planning are key to your future, so be sure to get on track so you can have a prosperous future together.
Wondering where to start? We recommend sitting down and creating a list of your income, all your bills and debts. Do you have big purchases coming up (house, car, etc)? Focus on getting your debts out of the way and make sure that you are both working towards maintaining a solid emergency fund. Many advisors recommend having 6 months of living expenses tucked away in an emergency fund.
You should also strongly consider finding an estate planning attorney to setup a will and trust. Especially if you have minor children, but even if you don’t — you’ll want to iron out details about your assets, who gets them if someone passes away, and more. One of the biggest issues you should talk about with your attorney is health care. Talk about a health care directive and what should happen if one of you is incapacitated or suffers a traumatic injury. It never hurts to be prepared.
Once you talk to an estate planning attorney you are starting to work towards your goals in a very real way. For those who are marrying a little later in life, having a clearly set out estate plan is one of the kindest things you can do when you are pulling together two families.