"If so, say 'I do.'"

It's wedding season in Kentucky. I'm not sure how many nuptials I'll be witnessing this year, but I always look forward to wedding festivities and the celebration of love.

And if you are the one getting married, you definitely have a lot to look forward to! And probably some stress added in there as well...

So you've gotten the marriage license and you've exchanged vows. Hopefully your marriage license was timely returned to the County Clerk's office (that's another post...). And now you are legally married!

Congratulations! You've gone through one of life's biggest changes. Big life changes are always a good opportunity to do some estate planning. But you may be thinking, we don't have much at all so what is there to plan for?

A lot, really.

If you die without a will in Kentucky, you die intestate. That means that Kentucky's laws of intestacy will determine how your assets are allocated. Under Kentucky law, if you are married and die without children then one-half of the assets go to the surviving spouse and the other half goes to the deceased spouse's parents. Is that how you want your estate divided?

Another part of comprehensive estate planning is updating the beneficiary designations on both retirement accounts and life insurance policies. This is particularly important as these accounts and policies may be your most significant assets; you want to make sure they will go to the intended beneficiary.

If you are severely injured or ill and unable to make medical decisions for yourself, designating a healthcare surrogate allows you to designate who you want making your end-of-life decisions. Maybe your new spouse is the love of your life, but they don't have the temperament to handle the pressure of that kind of life or death situation? Or maybe you want to make your parents fully understand that it is your life partner whom you trust to make those final decisions.

And by preparing a living will, you can advise both medical professionals and your healthcare surrogate what your end-of-life wishes are.

Estate planning may not be the first thing you think of after cutting the cake or celebrating your first dance together as a married couple, but doing so can give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out if something does happen to you.

If you are recently married or have experienced a major life change, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at the Brackney Law Office, PLLC to understand your options. To speak to Peter, visit our website or call (859) 559-4648 today.

The information contained on this blog is for general information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. Because your situation is unique, you should consult with an attorney to determine what course of action is right for you.