Should you estate plan alone or with your spouse?

When it comes to estate planning in Delaware, one decision is whether to go solo or involve your spouse. Both options have their merits and drawbacks.

Understanding them can help you make an informed choice.

Individual needs

Delaware has a rate of about 13.6 marriages per 1,000 women 15 and older. However, some married people perform their estate planning alone. If you do this, you have the chance to tailor the process to your individual needs and preferences. You can focus solely on your assets, debts and beneficiaries without having to compromise with your spouse. This approach may be beneficial if you have separate assets or if you want to keep certain aspects of your estate private.

However, going solo may also lead to oversights or inconsistencies, especially if you and your spouse have joint assets or shared financial responsibilities. Without your spouse’s input, you might miss major details. You might make decisions that affect your spouse’s future financial security.

Benefits of collaboration

Involving your spouse in estate planning promotes collaboration. It gives both of you a say in important decisions. By working together, you can create a comprehensive plan that reflects your shared goals and values. This approach fosters transparency. It may prevent misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

Moreover, estate planning as a couple allows you to take advantage of certain tax benefits and legal protections that may not be available to individuals. For example, Delaware offers favorable inheritance laws for surviving spouses. This can simplify the transfer of assets and reduce tax liabilities.

Your unique situation

Ultimately, the decision to estate plan alone or with your spouse depends on your unique circumstances and relationship dynamics. Before making a choice, consider the following factors.

  • Are you and your spouse able to communicate openly and make decisions together?
  • Do you have separate or joint assets and debts that your estate plan needs to address?
  • What are your shared goals and priorities for the future, and how can estate planning support them?

Whether you go it alone or work together as a couple, proactive planning is a smart way to ensure a secure and stable future for you and your family.



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