How to change your estate plan after marriage

Tying the knot will change your life in a number of ways, including your estate plan. Now that you have a new spouse, there are changes you can make to ensure that both of you are protected in the future.

Here are a few points of consideration:

  • Name your spouse as your beneficiary: There's a good chance that you want your spouse to receive all your assets upon your death. So, you should immediately name this person as the beneficiary of your will. And the same holds true if you have a living trust.
  • Give your spouse power of attorney: With this, you give your spouse the legal authority to make key decisions regarding health care, finances, your business and other important matters. This is critical in the event that you're incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs.
  • Review your insurance policies: For example, if you have life insurance you may want to name your spouse as your beneficiary. This ensures that they receive the death benefit upon your passing. Your estate plan won't override the person you name as your beneficiary on your policy, so don't wait to make this change.

Any major life event, such as marriage, calls for you to review your estate plan. It's likely that you'll find that you need to make a few changes to ensure that it better suits you, your spouse and your future.

When altering your estate plan, be sure that you think through every decision and ensure that the changes you make are 100 percent legal and valid.

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