I Do, Now What?
ongratulations! You said “I do”, danced the night away with family and friends, and started a new chapter of your life called marriage. You might be asking yourself, “Now what?” Many people spend months and months planning for their wedding day but what follows next may not have received as much attention. Planning your life is an ongoing work in progress. And with that being said, there are some immediate tasks that you would do well to address.
While we understand that everyone’s situation is different, here are a few ways to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
- Name Change: If you are changing your legal name, you will want to request certified copies of your marriage certificate. Many entities, like the Social Security Administration, require this documentation in order to make any changes to your name. The Social Security office is a first step here. Once you have your new Social Security card, you can change your name on your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, bank accounts, insurance, and other registrations.
- Estate Planning: You may have already done such work early on in your relationship. However, this is an appropriate time to compare notes with an estate planning attorney to consider if any updating would be necessary. Some items which may require attention include – drafting of wills and preparation of supportive documents such as Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will.
- Beneficiary Designations: If you have retirement accounts or insurance, you may have previously elected beneficiaries. However, now that you are married, you may want to update your choices in consideration of having a spouse.
- Account Titling of Personal Investments, Checking & Savings Accounts: Depending upon what you and your spouse have agreed upon, you may want to consider retitling such accounts to include your spouse. This action is separate from your employer sponsored retirement accounts (401k, 403b, etc.). You can consult with a financial advisor to learn about your options. Regardless of which accounts you chose to retitle, it is important to come to an understanding about what you are sharing and/or keeping separate.
The above suggestions are just a few items that may require your attention after marriage. Above all, this exciting life event marks a great time to check in with a financial advisor and initiate a relationship that will help support your life planning going forward. Remember, there is no such thing as it being “too soon” to start planning.