If you’re recently engaged, let us first say congratulations. Remarrying can be an exciting time in life, full of promise for new love. But it is also one of those major life events that can affect your estate plan. Be sure you have your bases covered by following the estate planning tips below.
Getting remarried often means blending your family. If you have new step children that you wish to include among your heirs, your legal documents should be updated to reflect this. See our article, A Guide to Estate Planning for Blended Families, for more.
If you don’t have a will, get an attorney’s help drafting one now. If you die without one, it’s up to the state to distribute your assets--and tax them--however they see fit. We recommend the use of a pour-over will for real estate investors. This type of will acts in conjunction with a living trust, which we will discuss more below.
Real estate investors buy and sell major assets more often than the average person. Your estate plan must be updated each time you take either action. But real estate isn’t the only asset that will have value. Include anything with substantial financial value, such as a bank account, as well as items with great emotional value like family heirlooms on your list of assets.
Medical power of attorney dictates who makes medical decisions for you if you are ever unable to. If you do not have this document, or have not updated it since your previous marriage, now is the time to act. Whether you want your new spouse, a child, or another trusted loved one to make medical decisions for you, be sure your power of attorney documents reflect your choice--and that the responsible party knows your wishes in case you are ever incapacitated.
A living trust lets you organize your assets and control how they are distributed. Property may be titled directly to the trust when you acquire a new asset, which is one reason these privately-filed documents avoid probate court. If you have properties scattered across several states, a living trust spares your heirs from the experience of having to probate in each state. Instead, the assets will go directly to the person of your choosing, which also helps lower legal costs.
The estate planning lawyers at Royal Legal Solutions know the importance of proper estate planning for real estate investors. Since we are investors ourselves, and so are the rest of our clients, we know the details that will matter for you and your family. We will also fiercely advocate for your wishes and help you maintain control of your legacy. With proper planning, your real estate business can outlive you. So don’t delay. Schedule your estate planning consultation today.
Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.
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