Estate planning for couples is essential. Due to your commitment to each other and the joint property you may own, estate planning should be a high priority.
Estate Planning for Couples
Many couples mistakenly believe that they can make personal, health care and financial decisions for one another should a spouse or partner become legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness. However, without proper estate planning in advance to authorize your spouse to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated, he or she will have to go to court and request to be appointed as your legal conservator. Conservatorships are expensive and ongoing. The process discloses your personal and financial information to the public record, and is a real hassle for your spouse or partner.
Couples Must Plan for What Happens to Their Assets at the
Death of Either or Both of Them
If you don’t have a will or trust, your assets may be distributed after death based on default state laws of intestacy. These laws may not reflect your own unique circumstances and objectives, and offer no asset protection if your spouse or partner gets involved in a new relationship after you pass away, or when assets pass to future beneficiaries such as children.
Intestacy also typically involves a court process called probate, a burdensome, public, expensive process to transfer property out of deceased person’s name.
In addition, there can be considerable tax consequences when couples fail to work with an estate planning attorney to help them avoid taxes following a death.
There is a Better Way
Fortunately, we can help you avoid probate court, ensure that you are able to legally act on each other’s behalf if one of you becomes incapacitated, and that your assets pass simply and privately following your passing. It is easy to do, but unfortunately, all too easy to procrastinate on. Be sure and take action while you still can, because nothing is ever guaranteed, and the cost of inaction is too high to risk.