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July 6th, 2015

Protections Afforded by Marriage

Every couple who shares a life together knows that it’s important to protect one another in the event of disability or death. Marriage helps make that possible. A spouse has an automatic right to make funeral arrangements; become the executor of the estate if no will was prepared, and perhaps most importantly, inherit – whether a will was done or not.

There are important benefits as a result of marriage such as social security survivor benefits; sometimes worker’s comp or veteran’s benefits and other pension or retirement benefits. Everyone should update their beneficiary forms as a result of marriage.

In addition, it is always important to consider creating or updating your estate plan documents as a result of marriage. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Your old will or trust may not be valid if it was done prior to your marriage.

2. You may now benefit from certain estate tax planning as a married couple that was not available as an unmarried couple.

3. You may want to have different ultimate beneficiaries. Most couples want to provide for each other, but, in cases where the couple does not have children, if the surviving spouse does not use up what was left – the spouse who was the first to pass may want some inheritance coming back to his/her family instead of only to the surviving spouse.

4. You not only want to be clear who gets what and who is in charge in the event of an emergency – but – clear too on who the backup person/people are. Sometimes these change and need to be updated.

For more information, visit: Whether to Wed.