A before and after marriage checklist
Getting married or recently tied the knot?
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- Debt. How much debt do you and your partner each have? What's your plan for paying off debt?
- Credit ratings. It's always good to know your credit score and what a good credit score is. Once married, each of your credit ratings will affect your joint ability to obtain loans for cars and a home. If one of you has a lower score than desired, we have help to improve your credit score.
- The status of your money. What do each of you make? Are you comfortable sharing money? If not, who will be responsible for paying bills?
- The future of your money. What are your expectations about career and work?
- Savings. How much will you have for savings? Experts suggest saving three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund.
- Children. Do you agree on having or not having children? If so, what are your plans for careers and childcare?
- Retirement. What are your dreams for post-work life? What type of retirement plan works for you?
- Name. Will one of you change your name?
Things to do before marriage
- Obtain a marriage license, usually from a county clerk in the state in which you want to be married, as well as pay a fee. Depending on your state, the marriage license may be good for 30 days or up to a year, it's a good Idea to verify.
- Get a blood test if required by your state.
- Determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you particularly if one or both of you have substantial assets.
- Show proof of divorce or annulment of a previous marriage, or death of a previous spouse.
- Wait. Some states have waiting periods from the time of the license issuance until the permissible time of the ceremony.
Must-dos after you say "I do"
- Update identification, including driver's license, Social Security card and notify places that have your pre-marital information on file.
- Update your paperwork, including all retirement account and life insurance beneficiaries and name changes.
- Look at health insurance. Does one spouse's work plan make more sense for your whole family?
- Look at insurance such as auto, home or rental insurance; add life insurance if you don't have it. You may be eligible to receive a discount for adding additional policies.
- Create or update a will. Establish your spouse as your beneficiary.
- Consider additional documents, such as a Power of Attorney or living will.
Your State Farm® agent can help you navigate the changes and help with your insurance planning needs.