If you are going to be getting married and you want to make sure that you have everything protected and set, you'll want to meet with a lawyer to set up a prenuptial agreement, and a will. Having these two documents in order will ensure that everything is protected if anything happens to you, or if you get divorced.
A lawyer can help you draw up both before your big day. There are a lot of different things that have to be covered in both of these documents, so you want to pay attention to these details in both of the agreements.
No bride or groom wants to think about divorce before the big day, but it's often something that is beneficial to be considered. You want to protect all current assets you have, along with banking accounts, investment portfolios, retirement accounts and pension plans, and this involves writing a prenuptial agreement. Assets that you have and family heirlooms should be included, and you may want to put limitations or restrictions on alimony or child support.
You can add a variety of stipulations to the document, and your lawyer will look at your current financial state and make their own recommendations. The future spouse will have to sign this agreement willingly before you get married, to verify that they understand everything and they are willing to get married to you anyway.
Since you are protecting your finances with a prenuptial agreement, you also want to have a living will. You want this to appoint a medical power of attorney if you fall ill, and to divide up your assets as you wish if something happens to you, instead of having everything go to your spouse. You can have everything skip your spouse and go to your future children, or you can have certain assets go to specific members of your family. Planning in advance is ideal, and you'll want to let your future spouse know you have a will.
You can't ever predict what is going to happen in a marriage after you walk down the aisle, and having legal agreements that are going to protect you is something you may be thankful for later on. If your marriage is going south or if you are in the middle of the divorce process and something happened to you, your spouse would have say in your medical treatment or access to all of your belongings without these documents.
For more information on estate planning, visit Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP.