Addressing potential or existing financial issues before you get married can help you develop a strong foundation and know how to handle problems when they arise. When it comes to addressing financial problems prior to getting married, look at the past. Consider how both you and your partner handled finances and any pre-marital liabilities and assets, along with present financial affairs. You should also look at how you will handle finances as a married couple and protect yourself in the event of death or divorce.
Once you establish your collective financial situation, there are a few other topics you should consider. For example, if you were previously married for 10 years or more and collect Social Security benefits on your ex-spouse’s account, you may have to forfeit these payments upon remarriage. Your new combined income could also result in a higher tax bill, which is sometimes referred to as the “marriage penalty.”
Your estate lawyer and other financial professionals will always advise that to achieve financial success in marriage or any relationship, communication is key. Once you get married, you should also be prepared to look at your benefits. Since marriage is a recognized life event, your estate lawyer may be able to help you alter your insurance policies outside of the traditional open enrollment window. Keep in mind that as your joint income goes up, your insurance costs could also rise.
Additionally, it can be beneficial to talk to an estate lawyer about protecting your pre-marital assets that are solely owned by you. They may advise against commingling some of your assets or recommend other estate planning vehicles, such as a trust.
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