If you’re married, it goes without saying that you’ll want to include your spouse in the estate planning process. This sounds simple enough, but you’ll soon find that there’s a lot to discuss. Not to mention the fact that you may not see eye to eye on every detail.
Here’s how we define estate planning:
Estate planning is the preservation and the distribution of your assets, both during your life and upon your death. It is accomplishing your personal and family goals and easing the management of your financial and legal affairs, as well as minimizing taxes if your estate is large enough for taxes to be of concern.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see that you’ll have a lot to discuss with your spouse during this process. Here are three important questions to answer:
- Who should we name as our beneficiary? For example, you may agree that you should leave all your assets behind to your children. That’s easy. However, if you don’t have children, you may disagree as to where your assets should end up.
- Who will make the best guardian for our children? If you have children under the age of 18, it’s critical to name a guardian. This person will raise your children should you and your spouse pass on before they reach legal age. This is often a sticking point when spouses work together to create an estate plan.
- Should we create a will and a trust? Some people are okay with the idea of only creating a will, while others are attracted to the benefits of a trust, such as the privacy protection. You need to get on the same page, as these require a different approach.
While these are among the more important details to discuss, you’ll soon find that there are other things that deserve your attention. As you work through the process, contact us if you require any assistance or need clarification. We’re happy to help you create the perfect estate plan.