Do You Still Need An Estate Plan If You Are Married?
According to data from Statistics Atlas, approximately half of adults in Massachusetts are currently married. You may be wondering: Do I still need an estate plan if I am married? While it is an understandable question—you may want to simply grant all rights to your spouse—the answer is a clear and resounding “yes.” All adults in Massachusetts should have a personalized estate plan. Here, our Boston estate planning lawyers explain why it is still so important to have a comprehensive estate plan even if you are married.
Three Reasons Why Married Couples Still Need an Estate Plan
- An Estate Plan Makes Property Distribution Easier—Even if the Spouse is the Sole Heir
Even married couples with relatively simple estates in Massachusetts can still benefit from a comprehensive estate plan. If you and your spouse have no children and you want to make your spouse your sole heir, a proper estate plan still provides benefits. For married couples, it is common to assume that property will automatically pass to the surviving spouse. While this is often the case, the reality can sometimes prove to be more complicated. With the right formal structure in place—whether a will or a trust—married couples can ensure that their wishes are carried out.
- Estate Planning is About Far More than Deciding Who Gets What
Another key thing for married couples to remember is that estate planning is about far more than determining who gets to inherit what. Indeed, a comprehensive estate plan provides legally enforceable guidance for a wide range of different issues—including things like power of attorney (POA), healthcare directives, and guardianship. For married couples, this ensures that there are clear directives about medical decisions and treatment if one spouse becomes incapacitated. By granting a spouse formal power of attorney, you can make it very easy for them to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated or you are otherwise not in a position to make your own decision.
- An Estate Plan is Key for Married Couples With More Complex Situations
Finally, proactive estate planning is especially important for married couples in Massachusetts who have more complex situations. For example, imagine that either you or your spouse has children from a prior relationship, it is imperative that you have a well-crafted estate plan. Along the same lines, imagine that you have significant assets that could potentially be at-risk to a creditor claim, you need a well-considered estate plan. A Massachusetts estate plan lawyer can help you devise a plan that is the best fit for your needs and your goals.
Contact Our Boston, MA Estate Planning Attorneys Today
At Fisher Law LLC, our Boston estate planning lawyers have the proven professional expertise that you can trust. We help married couples get comprehensive, solutions-oriented estate plans in place. Have questions about your options? Contact us today for an initial consultation. We provide estate planning representation in the Greater Boston area.