Newlyweds must conquer tough issues to avoid probate court later

Many changes come with marriage. You share a home, share finances, and work together to create the life you want. There is another change that comes with marriage that most people probably don't think about. Oklahoma residents who are getting married or have recently gotten married should know that updating your estate plan or making an estate plan is a vital step for ensuring your family would be able to survive if something happens to you.

One consideration for when you get married is the advance medical directive forms that spell out your medical wishes. You can let medical professionals know what procedures you are willing to accept and which you want to avoid. It is also important for you to give your new spouse health care power of attorney if you want your spouse to be able to make medical choices for you.

While we are on the subject of powers of attorney, you should create a durable power of attorney. This form enables your spouse to make financial choices for you if you aren't able to do so yourself, which can help your spouse to avoid probate court if decisions must be made on your behalf. Because of varying regulations at different institutions, you should contact each financial institution you work with to determine if special forms are needed for this.

Speaking of financial institutions, you should also update your beneficiary designations at these institutions to include your spouse. This will ensure that if you pass away, your spouse has immediate access to the accounts to get your affairs in order.

Lastly, you and your spouse should write out updated wills that outline what will happen to your assets if one or both of you pass away. It is important to update the will if you have children so that you can ensure your children are taken care of if something happens to you.

As unpleasant as these things are for a new couple to talk about, taking the time to take care of these matters right away can help to bring a measure of peace to your relationship. It will give you and your spouse the assurance that your affairs are in order if you pass away.

Source: Daily Finance, "Estate Planning for Newlyweds" Anna Wroblewska, Jul. 13, 2014

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