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Charleston Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Friday, January 25, 2019

Five Tips for Planning Your Estate Before You Say "I Do"

Planning a wedding is exciting. You probably have a long list of things you need to do before your wedding day. If possible, it is a good idea to add estate planning to your wedding to-do list. Couples often overlook estate planning until after the wedding. However, it can be beneficial to consult with a South Carolina estate planning lawyer before you say “I Do” to discuss estate planning needs before and after your marriage.

Five Pre-Wedding Estate Planning Tips

Some of the items below may be difficult to think about, especially as you are planning your life together. However, life is unpredictable. Being prepared is one way to help ensure your loved one is taken care of should the unthinkable occur.

1. Review Life Insurance Policies
It is never easy to think about losing your spouse, especially as you are planning your wedding. However, tragedy can strike at any time. Sadly, accidents on honeymoons have resulted in the death of a spouse. If you and your partner have purchased a home, how would you pay the mortgage payments if you lost your spouse soon after marriage? 
Life insurance policies can provide the financial support a person needs after losing a spouse. It can help to have the financial means to pay off a home and other debts so that you do not need to worry about finances after the loss of a spouse.

2. Drafting of Updating a Will
Many couples enter marriage without an estate plan or a will. If you have a will, you should discuss updating your will with your attorney. However, if you do not have a will, you and your partner can benefit by discussing a will with an attorney before your marriage. The process of drafting a will can help you address important financial decisions. It can also help you address issues related to health care directives and retirement planning.

3. Updating Beneficiary Designations
As you consider estate planning after your marriage, you need to remember to update your beneficiary designations. Some assets, such as life insurance and retirement accounts, pass directly to a beneficiary outside of probate. Making a list of all accounts that have beneficiary designations before your marriage can help you update the beneficiaries on these accounts quickly after your wedding.

4. Protecting Inheritance for Children
If you have children from a previous relationship, estate planning before your marriage can help you protect your children’s inheritance. A prenuptial agreement is only one step in protecting assets for your children. A comprehensive estate plan can help ensure that you name a guardian and trustee for your child to help protect them after your death.

5. Incapacity Planning
An estate plan may also include provisions in case you become incapacitated. In many cases, spouses name each other to make financial decisions and medical decisions if one spouse is unable to do so. However, who do you want to make these decisions for you if your spouse cannot make the decisions? Do you want someone other than your spouse to make these decisions for you? A South Carolina estate planning attorney can guide you through these questions to help you decide what is best for you and your partner.

A South Carolina Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

It is never easy to think about your death or incapacitation. Schedule a consult with one of our estate planning lawyers today. We can help make the process easier by explaining your options and answering your questions about wills, trusts, probate, and other estate planning matters.

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Wiles Law Firm, LLC helps clients with their estate planning needs in Charleston, South Carolina and the surrounding areas such as West Ashley, Summerville, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and John's Island.

Information on this website is not legal advice. Further, viewing of the enclosed information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Wiles Law Firm, LLC. Matters will be handled by attorneys who primarily practice out of our office in Charleston County located at 852 Lowcountry Blvd., Ste. 101, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. M. Emerson Wiles, III is the attorney responsible for this advertisement.

Any result Wiles Law Firm, LLC may achieve on behalf of one client in one particular matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. Please contact a South Carolina estate planning attorney or one of our attorneys with Wiles Law Firm, LLC for a consultation regarding your unique estate plan.

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