Newly married couples in New Jersey and elsewhere often have big plans for their future. They dream of all the things they want to do and take steps to make those dreams a reality — which, of course, is a good thing. There is one aspect of future planning that some newly married couples try to avoid, though, and that is preparing for death. Everyone dies at some point. If estate planning has not been completed, it can hurt one’s spouse and/or one’s children in the end.
No one likes to think about death, particularly people who are just in the new stages of marital life. It is understandable that it is a depressing thing to think about. However, knowing why it is something to think about may help some couples bite the bullet and get an estate plan put together.
According to a recently published news article, the average age women in the United States become widows is 59. That is pretty young. If a plan for a couple’s assets is not in order, women in this age group could find themselves struggling more than necessary in their retirement years.
Here’s the thing: without a will, trust or other estate planning documents in place, what happens to one’s assets and one’s children — if applicable — may be up in the air, but taking the following steps can help prevent that. First, add both spouses’ names to all accounts — if possible. Second, fill out beneficiary forms for accounts — if available. Third, compile all asset and account information, along with estate planning documents, so that they are easy for a surviving spouse or children to find. Finally, once an estate plan is in place, review it often and make changes when doing so is necessary.
Some New Jersey residents may think estate planning is morbid and unnecessary, which is why they never get it done or put it off until they are older. In truth, there is nothing morbid about it, particularly when one considers what it does. Being prepared offers a sense of security and peace of mind. It is always good to know that one’s loved ones will be taken care of and have an easier time getting through the probate process when the inevitable does occur.