How to Write an Online Will if You're Newlyweds?
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How to Write an Online Will if You're Newlyweds?

How can newlyweds write Wills online? What are the steps for newlyweds when creating a Will? This article dives into what newlyweds need to know when creating a Will! Keep reading to learn more.

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Aric and Samantha Hutchinson had just tied the knot in their dream wedding when the unthinkable happened:  Samantha was killed “moments after the ceremony when a drunk driver slammed into the newlywed couple’s golf cart on a South Carolina beach road.” The freak accident made headlines around the world. The assailant was driving 65 mph in a 25 mph zone. Footage of the accident shows that she barely even tapped the brakes before striking the golf cart. 

Accidents like this are - thankfully - rare. However, life is totally unpredictable. That’s why you should have a Will even if you are newly married and just embarking on your new life together. It’s hard to think about death during life’s most joyous moments, but marriage and the birth of a child should always make you think about creating or updating your Will. This thought isn’t about dwelling on the macabre - instead, think of it as going the extra mile to protect your family, even against things that probably will never come to pass. So, here’s how and why to write an online Will if you’re a newlywed. 

Yes, Both Spouses Need a Will 

The most common question we get from newly married people is whether someone truly needs a Will if their husband or wife already has one. The reason for this question is that many couples agree on the basics: they would want their assets to go to their spouse and they want their spouse to be a legal guardian of any minor children. But you still need to have an individual Will. 

What is a Mirror Will? 

If you truly have the same wishes, you can draft what is called a “Mirror Will.”  A Mirror Will is often used by couples (including spouses or partners) who have a desire to leave their estates to each other in the event of their deaths. That means Mirror Wills are basically identical Wills, where each person mirrors the provisions made by the other. In essence, when one person passes away, the surviving partner receives the assets and inherits the estate according to the terms of the Mirror Will.

Mirror Wills are individual documents that create reciprocal arrangements. This is different from one spouse having a Will and the other spouse not having a Will. One advantage of this arrangement is that each person still has the right to modify their own Will if they need to. Even when you have the same wishes as your spouse, you still need that flexibility to take into account a change in circumstance. 

There are some drawbacks to Mirror Wills. Some people don’t want the flexibility of being able to change their Will without the other person’s consent. Mirror Wills don’t create a legal obligation for your spouse to inform you of any changes they make. If your partner remarries after you pass away, your surviving spouse will still have the ability to go against your wishes. When would that be bad? If you have a child with someone else and your new spouse becomes the step-parent. Then let’s imagine that you pass away and your spouse inherits your entire estate.  Later, the spouse remarries. They could then disinherit your child, their step-child, who would then wind up getting nothing from your estate. The lesson is that people with blended families should probably not choose Mirror Wills. 

What About Joint Wills?

You can avoid the ambiguity of a Mirror Will with a Joint Will. A Joint Will is a single legal document that applies to both spouses. This is only appropriate when you want to lock your partner into specific choices because a Joint Will can’t be changed without the approval of both people. This might sound appealing to you now, but you’re presumably marrying someone because you trust them, and that trust should extend to giving them the flexibility to handle things if you pass away. 

How to Talk to Your Spouse About a Will

If even the thought of having these conversations about drafting a Will makes you nervous, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. How can you begin to bring this up? First, sit down with your spouse and let them know you’d like to schedule a time to chat about this topic. It’s generally easier to get the other person to agree to meet and talk rather than hitting them with a series of questions about death and taxes before they go to bed one night. Remember, you don’t want to go to bed angry, and asking your husband or wife about their own death right before they hit the hay is probably a guaranteed fight!

So, let’s say you both agree to have a date night where you talk about your hopes and dreams and how you both intend to protect your assets. When the day arrives, start with questions that are more open-ended. What would you like your combined legacy to be? Do you each anticipate inheritances from your family members one day? What would you like to do with that inheritance? Do you intend to have children? Who would make an excellent legal guardian for them?  Do you like the idea of leaving your estate or part of it to charity? This is a good place to start the conversation.

How to Write an Online Will

Once you’ve fleshed out your answers to these questions, you can move on to drafting your own Wills. The best way to start that process is to create a list of your assets and liabilities. This will also help you plan for other things, such as buying a house or having children. What assets do you need to identify?

Start with all of the physical property you currently own, like a house, cars, and pets. Then list your financial assets, like life insurance and retirement accounts. Don’t forget about your digital assets, like cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and even your social media accounts.

Fill in the Online Will Documents

Next comes the part of the process that FastWill makes easy: filling out the documents that will become your Last Will and Testament. FastWill’s AI process will ensure that you have legally binding documents that are tailored specifically to your state and your situation. Be sure to store your Wills somewhere that your loved ones can find them. And as always, always make sure to update your will when you experience a major life change.

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