Marriage has plenty of legal benefits, and that truth is not limited to estate planning. While discussing estate planning may not be the most romantic topic, it is a crucial step in securing your family’s financial well-being and preserving your legacy. This post will explain 4 simple reasons that why married couples should consider estate planning and trusts.
Revocable Living Trusts in particular are a useful tool for married couples. A living trust is revocable, meaning that in the event of divorce, couples can easily change and revoke their estate plans to exclude or rearrange their assets post-divorce to reflect that life-change. Importantly, having a revocable living trust can help keep things calm and amicable in case of divorce by avoiding a probate process.
Many married couples share children or are creating a blended family through marriage. A thorough estate plan can provide for guardianship of minor children, and can ensure that funds from the estate will provide for them according to the couple’s wishes. Often, we see couples wanting estate funds to be distributed to their minor children t certain age or for certain reasons, including education, health, and general support. Together, you can also choose a reliable guardian to provide for your children’s health, safety, and well-being. Ultimately, having an estate plan as a married couple can ensure your children’s future as a couple.
Health Care Decisions
Married couples benefit from having health care directives. This includes a Health Care Power of Attorney, Mental Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Wills. Having these Power of Attorneys (POAs) in place within an estate plan as a married couple ensures that your spouse’s health and safety remain within your family. The consequence of not having these health care directives in place is the court can assign a professional third party to your spouse’s estate, emabling them to make health care decisions that may not align with you or your spouse’s wishes.
Minimizing Estate Taxes
Estate taxes can significantly erode the value of your estate, leaving your surviving spouse with less than anticipated. A well-structured estate plan can incorporate various strategies to minimize estate taxes, such as establishing trusts, gifting assets, or setting up a marital deduction trust. By doing so, you can maximize the wealth transfer to your spouse, reducing the burden of taxes on their shoulders.