If you created a will that gifts some assets to your children or grandchildren but haven’t taken the time to determine what’s in the best interest for you and your spouse in retirement, you’re not done planning.

The loss of a spouse can be a devastating and overwhelming experience for you or your spouse. If it’s hard for you and your partner to sit down and discuss these issues with one another, you can reduce the potential conflict and much of the anxiety around the subject matter.

An outside professional like a financial planner or an attorney diffuses some of the tension over this subject matter and empowers you and your spouse. Think first about what would happen in the immediate future if one of you passed away today- what would happen with your will? Your estate? Your personal property?

You might discover in this process that you need to reassign your resources or revise the titling so that your spouse can get access to this property as soon as possible. Discuss the goals with any of your tax and legal advisors to determine what’s best for you. Don’t forget about possible tax implications for everyone in your estate.

Even if your estate is pretty small, there can be tax consequences for anyone outside of your spouse. If you have an unmarried partner, for example, then you need to discuss how this could impact that partner. The greatest gift you can leave to your spouse is a plan that helps them adjust during a very difficult time in their life.

A Maryland estate planning attorney can help you look ahead to the future so that you and your spouse both know that you’ll be taken care of in the event of an unexpected loss.