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Do I Need A New Will If I Get Married?

Posted by Joel Beck | Mar 04, 2024 | 0 Comments

Life is full of significant milestones, and marriage is undoubtedly one of the most transformative. At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we understand the joy and complexities accompanying such an important life event. With the celebration of a new union, many practical questions arise, one of which often puzzles our clients: "Do I need a new will if I get married?" It's a valid concern, reflecting the thoughtful consideration you're giving to the future well-being of your loved ones. Let's explore the implications of marriage on your estate planning and why updating your will may be a crucial step in protecting your new family's future.

Understanding the Impact of Marriage on Your Will

Marriage is a significant life event that can profoundly affect your estate planning. Here's a closer look at why and how:

  • Legal Changes: In Georgia, if your will does not specifically mention you're your will is made in contemplation of a future marriage, then your later marriage automatically alters the distribution of your estate, as the law provides a share to your spouse, even if your existing will does not. 

  • Protecting Your Spouse: Without an updated will, your spouse may not be adequately provided for in the way you intend.

  • Clarity and Intent: A will updated to reflect your marriage unequivocally demonstrates your intent to include your spouse in your estate plans, or, on the other hand to exclude your spouse, thereby reducing the potential for disputes among family members.

When Updating Your Will Is Essential

Updating your will post-marriage is not just a suggestion; in many cases, it's essential. Consider these scenarios:

  • Blended Families: If you or your spouse have children from previous relationships, updating your estate plan ensures that all children are considered in your estate planning, reflecting your wishes for their inheritance.

  • Specific Bequests: You may wish to allocate certain assets to your spouse, other family members, or charities. A current will can specify these bequests, ensuring your wishes are honored.

  • Guardianship Considerations: Marriage may change your preferences for guardianship of any minor children, should something happen to both parents. An updated will can reflect these new choices.

Practical Steps to Update Your Will

Updating your will after marriage doesn't have to be a daunting task. Here are some practical steps to consider:

  • Review Your Current Will: Assess your estate plan to determine how marriage affects your intended asset distribution. And recognize that, in some situations, a will may no longer be the best tool to use in light of changed circumstances, and a revocable trust may be more appropriate depending on your wishes.

  • Consult with an Estate Planning Lawyer: Engage with professionals like us at Peach State Wills & Trusts to understand the nuances of Georgia's estate laws and how they impact your new marital status.

  • Consider a Comprehensive Approach: Beyond your will, review other estate planning documents, such as powers of attorney and healthcare directives, to ensure they align with your current wishes and circumstances. Importantly, healthcare directive and powers of attorney may also be invalidated by a marriage or the filing of a divorce action if the documents were not made in contemplation of such an event. 

Why a New Will Might Be Necessary

In many cases, drafting a new will is the most straightforward way to ensure your estate plan reflects your current marital status. A new will can:

  • Clearly Articulate New Wishes: Explain your intentions for your estate, including any specific allocations to your spouse, stepchildren, or other beneficiaries.

  • Revoke Previous Wills: Clearly revoke any prior wills to avoid confusion and ensure only your most current wishes are considered.

  • Address New Assets: Include any new assets acquired since your last will, ensuring they are distributed according to your wishes.

Maintaining Flexibility in Your Estate Plan

Life evolves after marriage, possibly bringing additional children, new assets, or other significant changes. Keeping your estate plan flexible and up-to-date with these changes ensures ongoing protection for your loved ones. Regular reviews, ideally every few years as well as immediately after significant life events, align your estate plan with your current situation and wishes.

How Peach State Wills & Trusts Can Assist

At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we're committed to guiding you through every life change with compassion and experience. Whether celebrating a new marriage or adjusting your estate plan for another reason, our team is here to provide the support you need to ensure your wishes are clearly expressed and legally solid.

Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at 678-344-5342 or online to learn how to plan for your future in Georgia today. If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, you can download our free guide here, no strings attached. Our approachable team is ready to help you go through the estate planning process, ensuring peace of mind for you and your loved ones during every life stage.

About the Author

Joel Beck

Joel Beck founded The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. His firm focused on business law and estate planning needs of clients, two areas that he was drawn to based upon personal and business experiences in his life, including a ten-year career at NASD (now known as FINRA).


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At Peach State Wills and Trusts, a division of The Beck Law Firm, LLC, we're committed to answering your questions about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, uncontested probate, and business planning issues in Georgia.

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