Steps to Take When Planning Your Estate

Chances are the last thing you consider immediately after your wedding is estate planning. With the honeymoon on the horizon and a long life together ahead, most newlyweds figure they have plenty of time to formulate estate plans, but this is ill-advised. It’s important for you and your spouse to take the time to update your estate plans to make sure your new family is prepared for the unexpected.

Update Your Account Beneficiaries

One of the quickest and easiest things you both can do is update the beneficiaries in your accounts. Updating your beneficiary, or “transfer of death” designations, is especially important in 401(k) and IRA accounts. If you or your spouse decide to split an account to different parties or leave it to someone else, you may need notarized acknowledgement. Some of the most important accounts to update include:

  • Insurance policies
  • A will or trust
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • 401(k) or other retirement accounts
  • IRA
  • Health savings accounts

Keep Your Wills Up to Date

Discussing your will can be an uncomfortable topic for you and your spouse, but it’s highly important. Take your time to talk about how your assets should be divided between friends and family upon your death. Once you’ve organized your plan, make sure it’s properly documented in a will by a probate lawyer.

Organize Your Medical Preferences

In the event of a medical emergency, it’s important for your wife or husband to know what your medical preferences are through an advanced medical directive. It’s important for you both to nominate each other as health care proxies. This documentation gives both the requisite power of attorney to allow medical decisions to be made. Discussing each other’s opinion on topics such as life support and exhausting medical options may be a difficult subject to discuss, but knowing what each of you want and documenting it in a professional manner will make decisions easier if an unfortunate event occurs.

Durable Powers of Attorney

If you or your spouse becomes incapacitated, you won’t be able to handle each other’s financial affairs without a durable power of attorney. Without this establishment, your business ventures and jointly-held real estate assets could potentially suffer. Make sure you and your spouse can make decisions on each other’s behalf with the help of a probate lawyer who can assist you through this documentation process.

Estate planning can be complex, but the probate attorneys of Barrera, Sanchez & Associates, P.C. are here to help. Our legal team is determined to work diligently whether you want to create a will, process documentation or if you’re looking for legal representation during litigation. For more information about our comprehensive legal services, contact our McAllen office today.

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