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Times when estate planning for couples should be separate

Most couples realize the benefits of creating an estate plan together. This makes sense for those who have been married a long time, have children together, and have joint finances.

On the flipside, there are situations in which it makes more sense for both partners to create a separate estate plan. This is not likely to be the case, but it is something to consider nonetheless.

Here are some circumstances in which this makes sense:

-- Only one partner has children, such as from a former relationship.

-- The relationship is relatively new.

-- There is a prenuptial agreement in place.

-- There is a big gap in age between the two partners.

-- One person is concerned about the other's past.

Even if a couple decides to estate plan separately, they should still know what the other person is doing. This will ensure that everybody is on the same page. For example, just because you have a separate estate plan does not mean you will not leave your assets to your spouse.

Estate planning is a big decision for married couples. Some do this together, while others feel that it is best to take a separate approach. In the end, what matters most is that both partners are happy with where they stand and what will happen in the future.

You may decide for it, or you may decide against it. Even so, you should realize that estate planning for couples is a possibility. This will ensure that you make the best decision regarding your financial situation and the future of your estate.

Source: Forbes, "Estate Planning For Couples: Should It Be A Solo Or A Duet?," accessed Aug. 26, 2015

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