Whether you just proposed or were proposed to, congratulations on your recent engagement. The next few months will be a whirlwind as you plan your wedding and future lives together.
However, you should not just focus on planning your wedding in the next few months. Your whole lives will change, including your finances. To ensure you make a smooth transition from engagement to marriage, do not forget about these important items.
Pull and Share Your Credit Reports
Pulling your credit reports and sharing them with your partner is the first thing you should do after the engagement rush calms down. This step is not sexy, but pulling your credit reports will prevent you from being shocked by your partner's financial past, right before the wedding.
Discovering your future partner owes $75,000 in credit card debt could give anyone cold feet. By pulling credit reports early in the engagement, you can discuss any major shocks before you put down payments on wedding items that you will lose should the wedding be called off.
We hope that you will not have any surprises, but if you do, at least you can deal with them early on in the engagement.
Plan Future Financial Arrangements
Now that you know everything about your partner's credit, you should begin planning your financial future. Will you combine your bank accounts or keep separate accounts? Who will pay for the monthly bills? How much should you spend without consulting your partner first?
Establishing how you want your future financial life to work early on will help prevent the most common marriage battles, the fights about money.
Update Important Documents and Accounts
You will not want to make any major changes prior to tying the knot, but you will want to make sure you know which documents to update after you officially get married.
First, you will want to update any benefits that require you to name a beneficiary. Once you marry the love of your life, you probably will want them to receive your benefits should anything awful happen to you. If you forget to change your beneficiary, your benefits will go to whomever you had named prior to your marriage, which could even be your ex-spouse.
Next, update other important documents like your will, living will, power of attorney and insurances to reflect your new spouse's name.
Finally, consider adding your spouse to certain accounts you would like them to have access to should an emergency arise. These could include bank accounts, investment accounts or even utility accounts.
Consider Changing Benefits