Estate Planning Tips for Widows/Widowers

If you have lost a spouse, your world has changed dramatically. With all the changes in your life, it is important to remember that you need to re-examine and update your estate plan. Consider the following steps:

  • Take inventory of your assets. You should inventory your assets and determine how they are owned. There are certain assets that you may want to change how they are owned such as those that were owned jointly with your spouse. You may need to change the title to be in your name only or in the name of your trust. If you inherited assets from your spouse in trust, you will want to protect them from creditors by keeping them in trust. You should consult with your estate planning attorney on changes in tax basis for assets you held with your spouse.
  • Update your estate plan. Many times, the death of a spouse results in dramatic changes in your finances, which may require your estate plan to be changed. You should also review determine whether you named your spouse as trustee, executor or power of attorney. If so, you should appoint a new person. Additionally, if you remarry, you should update your estate plan to reflect how you want your new spouse and your children to inherit from you.
  • Protect your wealth. Even though you may have inherited a certain amount of wealth from your spouse, it is important to protect your finances. It is typically not a good idea to lend money to new love interests or friends, because there are many scam artists who target lonely individuals. You and your spouse worked hard to accumulate your savings, so safeguard your future by conferring with a seasoned estate planning attorney who will help ensure your best interests are protected. If you consider remarriage, only do so with a premarital agreement in place. This can avoid a lot of grief for you and your family.

If you have recently lost a spouse and you are interested in creating a new estate plan or updating an existing one, contact us for the advice and guidance you need. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.