Estate planning is not easy to discuss with your spouse. Chores, commitment, social media use — these are among some of the most difficult conversations couples can have.
Another big sore spot on the list? Finances.
We know that discussing your estate plan with your spouse is not easy. But it is better to discuss it with your spouse now than to have a bigger problem in the future.
While there are everyday expenses like car payments and rent to hash out on an ongoing basis, one of the most important things to talk about is estate planning.
For example, six out of ten people do not have an up-to-date will, which is crucial to mapping out your future.
Sure, the conversations you have to have might be difficult, but we have got five great estate planning tips that will help you and your spouse navigate any difficult questions.
When to Talk to Your Spouse
Timing is essential. You do not want to bring up these sensitive subjects in the middle of a crisis.
There are a few ways to approach this. You can approach the subject during a moment of calm.
Do your homework and bring some research to the table so that you have done part of the heavy lifting beforehand.
You can also plan to address the issue at a certain time. Do not put it off, though — make it a priority.
Review Your Assets
If both of you are gone or incapacitated, what happens to your assets? Your home, your money, even your business could be dissolved if you do not plan for the future.
First, take stock of everything that you own. This includes cash, bank accounts, investments, real estate, and retirement accounts.
Decide where to allocate these assets and follow through with a will. This is a difficult step but be brave and face it head on to ensure you get what you want.
Beneficiaries are people that receive your assets after you are gone. While many times a child is the direct beneficiary, there are other estate planning ideas to consider.
You can allocate your assets to go to a family member’s education or health care, or you can even put it towards your child’s retirement.
Your assets do not have to just go to relatives — consider donating to charity as well.
Another option is to deposit your assets into a trust and create the trust to distribute the funds in the way you would want them to be spent.
Power of Attorney and Living Wills
Tips on estate planning are not just for when you pass away. You have to consider what will happen if you are incapacitated or extremely sick and unable to make decisions.
A living will assigns someone to make health care decisions on your behalf when you are too ill to do so yourself. Power of attorney gives someone the ability to make legal decisions.
In both cases, it is important that your language is clear and easily understood.
If you have specific instructions for what to do with your remains, drawing up your authorization for final disposition plans will help ensure your loved ones understand your desires. This is particularly important to discuss with your spouse.
Be clear and thorough with your wording to reduce stress at a difficult time.
More Estate Planning Tips
Using these estate planning tips will help ensure you have the future you want. Plus, it helps your loved ones make sure you are taken care of no matter what happens.
Ready to have this conversation with your spouse?
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.