As you begin your newlywed life, the last thing you want to think about is what would happen if you would separate from your spouse, or worse they pass away. However, having a will can help you tie up loose ends or what ifs you may have about individual and shared assets.
Having a will not only creates peace of mind for your property, but it helps you create a plan to continue to look out for those you care deeply about, even if you physically can’t be there.
These are some other reasons to put together a will sooner rather than later:
- Separate property: Before marriage, you probably had property in your name. As a married couple in Ohio, any property you purchase jointly with your spouse is marital property. This includes real estate, retirement benefits and income. However, if you hold onto property you acquired prior to marriage or receive individual inheritance money or other gifts during your marriage, Ohio law classifies this as separate property or solely yours. You can use your will as a place to divvy out who you’d like to give your separate property to if you pass away.
- Name guardians: Whether you already have kids or plan to, you can use your will to name exactly who you’d like to care for your minor children if you and your spouse are unable to do so. If you don’t have a will, then a judge will likely choose a fit parent and someone close to your family to raise your children. But a will allows you to specifically list who would you believe to be the best guardianship candidate
- Worst-case scenario: In the event that your spouse unexpectedly passes away, having a will can help you process your grief without having to worry about how you should divide their property. Other family members — close and distant — might want to have a say in the division of your spouse’s belongings, which can cause unnecessary tension in a difficult time.
Creating a comprehensive will can be daunting, especially after you’ve just took the time to plan a perfect wedding. But you can seek legal aid to ease the process.