For recently married couples living in the state of Florida, your new life as spouses has just begun. As newlyweds, you have your spouse have the future to look forward to, and a life spent together as a couple to plan for. So, if you haven’t already done so, you need to make sure to include estate planning in your list of things you need to do. Now that you are married, you and your spouse need to understand what choices you can make through an estate plan, how they affect each of you, and why it’s important to create that plan as soon as possible.
Recently married couples need to address inheritance issues.
One of the rights you receive upon getting married is the right to inherit from your spouse upon that spouse’s death. Unlike other inheritance rights, this is not a right that you can choose to take from one another. In other words, you cannot choose to disinherit your spouse if your spouse does not agree to be disinherited. While you can take away your spouse’s inheritance rights if you get a divorce, or if you agree to waive those rights, spouses are automatically entitled to inherit from one another.
However, what you are entitled to inherit will differ depending on your circumstances. For example, should you die without leaving behind an inheritance plan, your spouse will likely inherit your entire estate, even if you have children together. However, if you have children from a previous marriage, your spouse will only receive half of your estate.
So, before you create inheritance plan, you will need to speak to your attorney about what you, as a married couple, are entitled to receive from each other and what, if anything, you can do to change that.
Recently married couples need to be clear about who gets to make decisions for them.
So you know who you would want to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated tomorrow? For many married couples, they want their spouses to be able to make these kinds of choices. But will your spouse know what you would have wanted? What happens if both of you become incapacitated at the same time? What if you want your spouse to make one kind of decision for you, but want someone else to make other kinds of decisions?
As a married couple, you need to be clear about who you want to represent you in the event you become incapacitated. You should discuss this issue with your spouse, and you need to have that discussion soon. Further, you need to talk to an attorney about creating incapacity planning tools that will record your choices in a legally enforceable manner.