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How to Discuss Drafting a Will with Your New Spouse


After a New York couple gets married, the focus is typically on the honeymoon and settling down into a new home together. The last thing on their mind is drafting a will. How unromantic is that! Plus, it can sound morbid. Why would two people who are starting their lives together want to discuss death?

However, drafting a will is a smart decision. When married couples discuss this together, they are preparing for their financial future. For instance, illness or tragedy can strike at any time, leaving a person incapacitated. Without a living will (or health care directive) in place, a person's wishes regarding his or her desired treatment during a life-threatening condition may not be fulfilled.

Speaking of child, a will is required to name a guardian for a child in case the parents die. A guardian should be someone who is willing and able to care for the child. For example, a grandparent in declining health may not be a good choice. Spouses who are having trouble agreeing on a guardian can name co-guardians and backups just in case.

A will is a great start toward a solid estate plan, but it doesn't cover everything. There are also powers of attorney and trusts to put in place. Additional documents may be needed in cases where a surviving spouse decided to remarry.

Although it can be difficult to think about wills and death as newlyweds, it is better to be safe than sorry. A person can never be too prepared for dealing with death. A will can help ensure that a person's wishes are granted after death without costly court battles and family disputes.

Source: FOX Business, "Money Talks to Have With Your Spouse," Mary Schwager, March 21, 2013