By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
There are times when you and your partner have time to prepare for a coming loss and there are times when it occurs more suddenly.
Having estate documents organized and up to date beforehand helps ease the financial burden of the loss. Whether it’s the death of a spouse, incapacity of your partner, or a divorce, it is important to be prepared for the possibility that you could lose a source of income.
You can never be fully prepared for the death of a spouse. Whether it is a disease that gives you forewarning or it is an accident that happens suddenly, the death of your partner is a life-altering moment that will come with repercussions you could not have fully imagined.
That is why it is important to have your estate and financial documents prepared and organized well in advance of a partner’s death, regardless of your age, stage of life, or current health.
It is also important to have your financial documents, online account information, passwords, and assets inventoried and easily accessible so that you do not have to search for them in a time of stress and grief. It will also help you to familiarize yourself with the estate settlement process required under your planning choices so that you can be prepared ahead of time.
Having important conversations early is important in case your partner becomes incapacitated. Discussing these issues before either of you becomes unable to do so will help to smooth the transition of a tough situation.
Familiarize yourselves with one another’s medical history, prescriptions, and medical providers. Getting health care proxy and durable power of attorney for one another will be important because these documents let you make medical decisions on behalf of your partner if they are unable to do so for themselves.
Like death and incapacity, sometimes you know that divorce is coming and sometimes you do not. That is why it is important to be prepared financially and have needed information readily accessible. Though it may be typical for your relationship to have one spouse handle the finances, be aware of what your monthly expenses and income are so that you are not blind-sided if the marriage does not last.
Locating and organizing financial records, estate planning documents, insurance policies, and premarital agreements can save you time in the future and can be of help in divorce proceedings if needed. It is also helpful to organize and clarify assets and accounts that are individual versus those that are marital/communal.
While you can never prepare yourself emotionally for such the losses we have discussed today, you can and should prepare yourself financially for them.
Reach out to a trusted estate planning attorney and financial advisor to get your affairs in order today!