The spring and summer seasons are a huge time for weddings. Whether you are a pauper or a billionaire, getting married will transform your legal rights. In the flurry of activity surrounding weddings, it's a good idea to discuss and complete some important tasks.
Get a Prenuptial Agreement. It’s not just used to protect you in case of divorce. A Prenuptial Agreement allows both spouses to disclose their financial situation before the marriage – so both parties know what they’re getting into, and can create a plan for managing finances together in the marriage.
Decide on married names. The easiest way to get a legal name change is to do so on the marriage license, but the hard part is deciding what the name will be. Figure out if you want to share the same last name, keep your current names, or hyphenate. Then be prepared to notify everyone you do business with about your new name in addition to getting all of your identification cards and documents replaced.
Get signed contracts with all of your wedding vendors. Whenever you make an agreement with a vendor, you need to put it in writing. If your caterer doesn’t show up on the wedding day, and you have it in writing, your guests may still go hungry, but you will have grounds to at least take the vendor to small claims court.
Get liability insurance for your wedding. Often wedding event spaces require you to release them from liability at your event. If something happens, like someone slips on the dance floor, you need to have liability insurance to cover it. Often you can add it to your homeowner’s policy.
Create or update your estate plan. Once you’re married, you’ll need to include your new spouse in your Will, Living Will, Living Trust, Power of Attorney, or any other family legal documents.
Gifts: Parents often give gifts to their children on marriage.If parents are giving larger gifts, they should consider whether this should go to both child and spouse. Although it may seem mean to only give a present to their daughter and not their son-in-law, if the marriage comes to an end, the son-in-law may end up with an expensive gift the parents would rather he didn't have.
Before embarking on the lifelong journey of marriage, taking a few steps to get you started on the right path is well worth your time.