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Getting Married Financial Planning Issues

March 24, 2016

People that are getting married generally do not spend as much time as they should to consider the financial issues.  Here are a few things to ponder.

  • Credit score and credit card debt
  • Review each other’s credit reports
  • Joint or separate credit cards – each should have at least one card in their own name
  • College loan debt
  • Develop a joint plan to pay down existing debt
  • Decide on joint ground rules for new credit card debt
  • Owning a house – how it would be titled
  • Joint or separate bank accounts
  • Provide for each spouse to have their own spending money that does not have to be accounted for, and if necessary each should have a separate bank account
  • Designate one spouse that will pay the household bills and the other should reconcile the bank account each month
  • Change wills
  • Change pension designations – IRAs and employer plans.  Consider spousal rights
  • Decide on joint retirement planning funding targets
  • Consider having powers of attorney – make sure you each understand the significance of these powers
  • Health care proxies and living wills
  • Custodian accts from parents should be terminated
  • Life insurance and ownership and beneficiary designations
  • Care or provisions for a child born after death of a parent
  • Health insurance
  • Decide whether the spouse will legally change their name
  • If name changed, follow through on driver’s license, passport, professional license and similar items
  • Make a decision to fie joint income tax returns
  • Tax liens
  • Judgments
  • Discuss attitudes toward finances – spending, saving, budgeting and investing
  • Talk about the possibility of needing to help a relative financially and the limits
  • Decide together on long term financial goals
  • Decide to discuss all major financial decisions
  • Major or significant investment decisions or financial maneuvers should not be made without telling your spouse

Second marriage additional issues

  • If you have a prenuptial agreement, follow up on implementation
  • If current spouse is not to receive any inheritances from pension plans, that has to be stated in writing after the marriage by the spouse
  • Consider having an “emergency” fund joint checking account
  • Be aware that a joint or payable on death account passes outside of a will and the named party becomes the outright owner upon death
  • Determine what would be left to surviving spouse and that if there are children from a prior marriage anything left to the spouse will eventually go to their children and not yours
  • Make living arrangements post death in the marital residence or vacation or second residences
  • Consider QTIP trusts
  • Consider who is the trustee for your health care documents
  • Make a decision to fie joint tax returns
  • Make decision whether gifts will be split for tax filing

I previously posted a blog on prenuptial agreements on April 23, 2013 that you can check out for more information.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 6hawthorne permalink
    March 24, 2016 5:30 pm


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