Getting married will most likely be one of the happiest days of your life, but when all is said and done, there are important discussions to be had and hard work to be undertaken once the knot’s been tied. The most important thing is for both of you to work through these points together.
Updating names and marital status
One of the first things you should consider after getting married is sorting the paperwork of changing your name and marital status. Whether it’s one of you or both changing last name, you have to use your original marriage certificate to apply for a new social security card. Your social security number won’t change, but a new card will be sent out with the updated name. With your new card, you’ll be able to go down to your local Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a new driver’s license or state identification card. From here, ensure you update your bank with your new name, so you can still get access using your license or state ID card in case of any fraud or security concerns.
Ensure you do all this before filing your next tax returns, as your legal name needs to match the Social Security records. Otherwise, you risk red flags going up on your tax return.
When it comes to updating your marital status, there are a few organizations you may to contact. These include your employers, insurance companies, credit card companies, passport office, student loan providers, the post office, voter registration and utilities.
It’s easy to focus on the exciting parts of your marriage, such as the upcoming honeymoon and general life happiness, but there are some logistics that are simply better to sort out sooner rather than later. For instance, there are some essential estate planning issues you need to address, such as:
- Changing your account beneficiaries. This refers to changing options on your accounts, such as insurance policies and bank accounts. As you are both now married, you’ll both be responsible for your estate together. Consider adding a second beneficiary, in case you were to both pass away.
- Updating your wills. Whether you already had one or not, sorting out your assets for when you pass away is a good idea. This can be something that gets updated over time as needed, but ensuring your married status is reflected will save you stress should something happen down the road to one of you.
Consider sitting down with your spouse and going over your joint estate, if you haven’t discussed anything yet. It’s important not only to create a comprehensive list of your assets, but also each person’s loved ones and what they’d like to leave behind to them.
Family and life progression
For many couples, another of the next steps after getting married is to consider whether or when and how to grow your family. If this hasn’t come up before, now is a great time to talk through each person’s wishes.
There are a lot of variables to consider jointly, from the financial side of things to being mentally ready for the challenges of parenting. Not everyone wants children, so it’s important that both people be on the same page.
Some of the questions you need to think about before having a baby, include how a child or children will change you relationship, finances and daily life. It’s likely one of you will have to stop working on a short-term basis, so find out what makes financial sense and how you will deal with childcare.