smart spending

Marrying for richer rather than poorer

Estate-planning benefits
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While the government tends to automatically reward married couples with certain benefits, it pays to know a little bit about estate planning to fully reap the government's marital largesse.

If sheltering assets from possible lawsuits is a priority, Weisman recommends that married couples who own property together use "tenancy by the entirety" as opposed to "joint tenancy with right of survivorship." Tenancy by the entirety is available only to married couples.

Both types of ownership pass the assets outside of probate to the surviving spouse. "But perhaps even more importantly," says Weisman, "with tenancy by entirety, the property is out of the reach of creditors."

It's not automatic, though. Couples have to indicate that they want to title the property in this manner.




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