With proper planning, you and your spouse can help ensure your family is taken care of and your wishes for the future are carried out. Consider the following action items in your planning process:
Create a Will. Both spouses should create a Will that specifically designates the surviving spouse as the recipient of certain assets, rather than relying on the state’s intestacy statute.
Powers of Attorney. Both spouses should create durable powers of attorney, which give you and your spouse the ability to manage each other’s assets.
Health Care Proxies. Both spouses will need health care proxies that name the surviving spouse as the individual in charge of making medical decisions in the event of mental or physical incapacity or fulfilling end of life decisions.
Letters of Intent. Finally, both spouses should create letters of intent that provide the survivor with instructions for managing the burial arrangements to the extent desired by the deceased spouse.
Meet with Your Attorney. Tailor these action items to address
the concerns specific to your family’s situation.