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Debunking the myth that married couples do not need wills

When you are going into a marriage, it is vital to separate fact from fiction brought on by myths created by pop culture and other people's bad experiences. One common myth is that happy couples never argue, and that is simply not the case. Every relationship has tension at one point or another. What matters most is the ability you and your spouse have to resolve conflicts maturely.

Another myth involves the belief that married couples do not need to create wills because their assets will simply go to each other. This is a dangerous misconception, and it is one you need to get out of your mind as you start planning for the future with your spouse. 

You may not necessarily inherit everything

A lot of spouses merely assume they will receive everything the other spouse owned in the event of his or her death. This is not always the case. For example, according to New York's intestate succession laws, if your spouse has children from a previous marriage, they would inherit half of the estate minus the first $50,000. You would keep that first $50,000 plus the other half of the remaining estate. Losing nearly half of your spouse's estate may seriously affect your quality of life.

You need a power of attorney

Another good part of creating an estate plan with your spouse is that it makes you aware of other documents you may need down the line. For example, you each need to create financial and medical powers of attorney. These documents allow each of you to make decisions on the other's behalf in the case of incapacitation. 

You need to start early

You do not want to wait until you are both retired before creating estate plans. The wedding is a joyous occasion, and neither one of you will want to think about either of you dying. However, you should create estate plans while you are both still young and of sound mind. 

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