By, Jody Hudspeth, Paralegal for The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC
One of the many hats I wear as a paralegal is answering phone calls and emails from concerned loved ones and caregivers. This column, “The Elder Law Askit Basket”, features some of the scenarios we hear on a frequent basis. If you have a question you’d like to see answered here, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a slightly older woman (age 66) and am planning to marry in 2018. Should we wait until we are married to complete our Wills and other estate planning documents? When are prenups usually completed? We both have property we want to exclude from normal marital legal arrangements.
What a great and loaded question! I’m going to answer the second part of your question first: you need to consult a family law attorney to discuss your prenuptial agreement before you get married. For those of you already-married people out there who wish you’d done a prenuptial agreement, you can still reach out to family law attorney about doing a postnuptial agreement.
My answer on when you should complete your Will and other estate planning documents is—it depends. I hate to answer your question with a question, but it’s a must. Are you absolutely sure you are going to marry this person? If your current Will doesn’t name your soon-to-be spouse as a beneficiary, and you are sure you want to do that, then I say go ahead and re-do your Wills now. It can’t hurt.
The same goes for your other estate planning documents. If you want your fiancé to be your appointed agent in your Medical and Durable Powers of Attorney, I say go ahead and update those documents now, as well.
If you’re not completely sure you want to marry your fiancé and right now it’s just a thought, I say hold off until you’re sure. I hope you found my answer helpful. If you’d like to discuss your question further, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to talk to you.