Estate Planning and Financial Implications for Newlyweds

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Marriage is a blending of two lives, and while this is true on both a spiritual and physical level, it also has implications for your finances and other legal considerations.  Estate lawyers in California are often called upon during newlywed planning in order to clear up any confusion regarding how your new marital status affects you legally.

Credit

You personal credit score won’t necessarily be affected by that of your new spouse, but there are still implications.  Your newlywed planning will likely include how to finance large purchases such as a home of vehicle.  Marriage lawyers in California advise that if a couple is applying for a loan together, then both credit scores will be taken into consideration.  Of course, so will both incomes, so simply having one partner apply isn’t necessarily the best option.

Additionally, unpaid debts by one partner can become the legal responsibility of the other spouse after the wedding.  If there are concerns about this, it is a very good idea to meet with a California prenuptial lawyer to determine how best to protect both parties.

Taxes

Taxes are definitely affected by your marital status.  Married people are able to file their taxes jointly.  There are both benefits and drawbacks to this.  For example, by combining your income, you may find yourself in a higher tax bracket. On the other hand, if one spouse makes significantly more than the other, the averaging of these two amounts could lead to a lesser tax bill.  Working with a California estate lawyer is a great resource in determining the most effective way to file your taxes.

Estate Planning

One of the biggest long-term legal considerations is how your marriage will affect your estate planning.  Many newlyweds don’t really understand the importance of planning while they’re still young, but this is an incredible way to set and reach goals for your marriage.  If you have children, estate planning becomes even more vital!  There are special privileges for spouses when it comes to this type of planning.  If this is not your first marriage, you will especially want to make sure you update any previous estate plans to include your new spouse and exclude your old one.

Health Care

Being married brings with it additional rights for you and your partner, such as the ability to care for one another in the hospital.  There are also significant responsibilities that come along with this, including the need to make medical decisions for each other when necessary.  A California estate lawyer can help to make sure your documentation is all in order should you want that responsibility to fall to someone else.  Along those same lines, it’s a good idea to create a living will with your spouse so he or she is aware of the types of decisions you want made on your behalf.

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