One of life’s most important milestones is when two people join their lives together. And although we all enjoy the fairytale aspect of a love story, in between asking “Will you” and saying, “I Do”, there should be some realistic financial planning.
Whether getting married for the first time or the next time, at One Financial Services, we know it’s important to consider how the union will impact current cash flow and future estate planning. The time to address these issues is prior to the marriage.
How will expenses change for both spouses? Will you co-mingle your incomes or maintain separate accounts? Who will pay the household expenses? These issues become even more relevant when blending families and should be considered from all angles — including spouses, former spouses, children, step-children, and future children. Consideration of each of these issues should be reflected when updating your estate planning documents.
Some of those decisions can be laid out in a pre-nuptial agreement which is no more than a financial blueprint for what happens in case the marriage ends, whether by death or divorce. Using a prenup can also help you and your new spouse manage expectations. Although these negotiations can bring up difficult issues, they can also expose future friction points and allow for them to be addressed in advance.
Note, that for a prenup to be valid in most states, it should not be signed too close to the wedding date, and it must be fair to both parties. A good rule of thumb is that the prenup should be finalized and signed before the invitations are sent. Ultimately, state law governs the validity and disposition of prenups, so it is essential both you and your future spouse each must have their own competent local legal representation.
Your One Financial Services advisor will help to guide you through premarital financial planning, including working with your attorney. At One Financial Services, we want you to live happily ever after.