Checklist: Getting Remarried

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Congratulations! Getting married is a time to celebrate. And while finances shouldn't be your first priority, they're definitely important to discuss. We can help you blend your financial strategies in a way that works for you and your new spouse. This checklist can help you address implications that may apply to you.

Agree on your financial goals

  • Talk to your financial advisor to identify your short- and long-term goals. We can help you solidify your goals and determine how much to save or invest each month to achieve them.
  • Develop a monthly budget. Don't forget to include any alimony or child support.
  • Save six months' worth of living expenses for emergencies.
  • Discuss and decide what types of decisions should be made jointly (for example, large purchases over a defined dollar amount).

Take care of financial considerations

  • If changing your last name, update your Social Security card, driver's license and tax forms.
  • Decide how to handle pre-existing financial obligations (for example, child support or alimony). You may want to consider maintaining three accounts: his, hers and ours.
  • Discuss whether to merge existing financial accounts.
  • Decide who will manage daily family finances.
  • Review credit reports to identify and correct any errors to reduce the chance of surprises when making large purchases.
  • If one or both of you will be selling a home, investigate potential tax consequences.
  • If you own a home and plan to live there for five or more years, consider refinancing if one or both of you have a good credit score.
  • Discuss any outstanding loans, and develop a plan to reduce or eliminate that debt.
  • Make sure both of you participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan ‒ at least enough to receive an employer match, if offered.
  • Make sure you each have at least one credit card in your name to maintain your individual credit history.

Evaluate medical & disability insurance

  • Evaluate your medical plans to determine if one policy is more economical and comprehensive. Add your spouse and any dependents to your health insurance and cancel unnecessary policies as appropriate.
  • Review disability insurance to ensure you have appropriate coverage. Remember to consider support payments to an ex-spouse when determining appropriate coverage.

Review your investments

  • Choose a financial advisor you both like, and schedule a meeting.
  • Work with your financial advisor to identify retirement and other life goals, and choose investments that can help you achieve them.
  • Review and update beneficiaries on all your accounts.
  • If applicable, discuss and update financial plans for your children's education (Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and 529 plans).

Consider income taxes

  • Consult with your tax professional to discuss the tax implications of remarriage.
  • Adjust your tax withholding on Form W-4 through your employer to reflect your new marital status. 
  • Discuss your Social Security benefits with your tax professional. Your benefits may be impacted if you're under age 60 when you remarry.

Plan your estate

  • Work with an attorney to determine which of the following documents are appropriate: will, living will, durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney or trust.
  • If you have children, this step is critical to ensure that your wishes will be carried out and your dependents' needs will be considered.
  • Update titles and re-register accounts and property to include rights of survivorship .
  • Review life insurance policies and update beneficiaries and coverage. Be sure to include support payments to your former spouse, if applicable.
  • Discuss whether either of you wants a prenuptial agreement, especially if bringing substantial assets or debts to the marriage or expecting a substantial inheritance.

How we can help

This checklist can provide a good starting point. Reach out to your financial advisor as you go through this happy event to help ensure your financial strategy stays in line your goals.

Important Information:

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

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