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Getting married? Estate planning should be part of the process

Getting engaged and planning a wedding is an exciting time in someone's life. It can be easy to get caught up in the details of the big day and the honeymoon that comes after it without actually putting much thought to the future. Whether you're updating your existing will to include your future spouse or creating the first will you've ever had, the estate planning process can be a great way to cement your future with your intended spouse. Far from being morbid, deciding to work together to put an estate plan in place is a great way to illustrate your mutual dedication to the happiness and health of one another, even after death or a disabling accident.

Sooner is better in estate planning

It may seem strange to recommend that young couples engage in estate planning as part of the process to prepare for a wedding, but in reality, it makes perfect sense. Not only will the estate planning process require that you and your fiance discuss some of the more difficult and important aspects of adult life (such as children, childcare, housing, and retirement planning), it will also help solidify the fact that you are both hoping to provide the best future for one another (and your current or future family).

Estate planning will arrange for legal access to your digital assets as well as assign an executor to carry out your will and ensure fair and appropriate distribution of your possessions. Whether you're hoping to ensure there are funds for a surviving spouse to live on or simply want to ensure your future spouse is the recipient of any life insurance policies' help, early estate planning is the simplest and smartest way to tackle these issues.

What happens when circumstances change?

Once you have the basics figured out and outlined in a legal document, it is much easier to make updates as your family (and your estate) expand. From adding children as recipients of your estate to outlining information about their caretakers and legal guardians in case of your untimely demise, updating and changing the details of your estate can be a simple process. In the unhappy event of a divorce, your estates can be separated and new estate plans can be put in place for each individual. Planning early does not lock you into a specific agreement; estate plans are fluid things that grow and change with the person who created them.

You absolutely shouldn't put it off until you're done having children or have finally moved from a starter home to the house where you intend to raise your family. After all, we have no control over when illness will strike or when we may be involved in a tragic, life-changing accident. One of the best ways to provide for your family is to ensure that your assets are protected in the case of your permanent disability or death.

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