Legal Preparations for Marriage

Bride and groom

fdfCongratulations! You’ve taken the plunge and are getting married. With all the preparations that come with a wedding, it’s easy to ignore the legal side of things. But taking care of these legal preparations before marriage is essential to ensure that you, your spouse, and any children you may have are appropriately protected: fdf

fdfEstablish a last will and testament fdf

fdfCreating a will is one of the most critical steps to protect your family’s future. A will lets you specify how assets should be divided upon death and name a guardian for minor children. Without one, your estate may end up distributed according to state law instead of your wishes. fdf

fdfWhen establishing a last will and testament, be sure to designate an executor who will manage the distribution of your estate in accordance with your wishes. This person will ensure that your estate is distributed in the way you want and that all debts are paid. fdf

fdfCreate an advance health care directive fdf

fdfAn advance health care directive enables you to name someone as your health care agent in case you become incapacitated or unable to make medical decisions for yourself. This document also allows you to specify any treatments or services that should or should not be provided if needed, such as resuscitation or organ donation. fdf

fdfAn advance health care directive can be created while you’re still healthy and gives your family peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected in the event of an emergency. Additionally, it provides your spouse or partner a legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf if the need arises. This document can also be updated if your wishes change over time. fdf

fdfMake financial power of attorney arrangements fdf

fdfFinancial power of attorney arrangements allows someone else to act on behalf of you financially if you become incapacitated or unable to do so yourself (your spouse cannot necessarily do this without a financial power of attorney). The appointed person can then manage financial matters such as paying bills and filing taxes on your behalf until the incapacity ends. fdf

fdfCreating a financial power of attorney document is important in protecting your finances and ensuring they are managed appropriately. The process typically begins with discussing the arrangements with a lawyer who can help you create a legally binding document. Then, the document must be notarized and witnessed to make it valid. After that, the appointed individual can begin managing your finances in accordance with your instructions. fdf

fdfUpdate beneficiary designations fdf

fdfAfter marriage, it’s important to update beneficiary designations on certain accounts like IRAs, life insurance policies, retirement plans, etc., as they override anything stated in a will or trust upon death. Taking care of this now will ensure that when something happens, assets transfer quickly and directly to named beneficiaries without delay or dispute. fdf

fdfIt’s also important to periodically review and update your beneficiary designations. For example, if you have children, update the accounts, so they are included as beneficiaries. Additionally, ensure that any ex-spouses or former partners are removed from accounts to ensure that assets transfer directly to the intended recipients. fdf

fdfReview your estate plan with your attorney fdf

fdfThe next step is to review all documents with your attorney—especially if either partner has been married before—to ensure that everything is in order and up-to-date with current laws in each state involved (if applicable). Having all documents checked by an experienced attorney can save lots of stress and help ensure that both partners’ interests are protected during marriage and beyond. fdf

fdfAdditionally, it is a good idea to revisit your estate plan every few years. Laws can change over time, and having an experienced attorney review your documents periodically can help ensure that everything remains up-to-date and follows current laws. fdf

fdfHave a good divorce lawyer on hand fdf

fdfAttorney fdf

fdfNobody wants to think about divorce—but unfortunately, things don’t always work out. So it’s essential to have a good divorce lawyer in case you ever need one. fdf

fdfA qualified divorce lawyer can provide valuable advice and guidance if the need arises. They can help negotiate an equitable settlement that is fair to both parties and protect your rights as well as those of your spouse. fdf

fdfGetting married involves many different aspects, and taking care of some legal preparations beforehand can ensure that everyone involved stays safe and secure throughout their lives together. Establishing a last will and testament, creating an advance health care directive, updating beneficiary designations for certain accounts, making financial power of attorney arrangements when appropriate, reviewing all documents with an experienced attorney, and having a good divorce lawyer on hand, are all essential steps that should not be overlooked when preparing for marriage. fdf

Share on:

About the Author

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top