It’s summer, and wedding season is just around the corner. If you’re about to walk down the aisle, you've likely spent hours planning for this big day. But, what happens when the wedding bells stop and the wedding bills begin? Making sure that you and your spouse are on the same financial page is essential to ensuring your marriage begins with a strong foundation. Here are four financial vows to get you started:
- I promise to be open about my personal financial situation: Each partner should share their personal balance sheet to determine total assets and debts. Take this opportunity to plan how debts and income will be split or shared. An open and honest conversation and a solid plan can alleviate problems later.
- We promise to get legal advice: Do you have a will? If not, have one drawn up. If you already have one, is it up to date and do you have a power of attorney in anticipation of your incapacity to take care of yourself or to administer your property? This might be a morbid topic for some couples, but clearly defining your final wishes and naming the person who will act on your behalf is a vital part of your financial plan. This information should be reviewed every five years or whenever you enter a new life stage, such as parenthood.
- We promise to consult with a financial advisor or accountant: Marriage could change your tax situation if you aren’t common-law partners for tax purposes at this moment. An advisor or accountant can show you how to minimize your potential new tax burden.
- We promise to protect the life we’re building together: Protecting and maintaining your standard of living is important at every life stage. Do you have a plan for how you'll manage your obligations if you become ill or injured? Review your insurance coverage and consider updating your portfolio if you find gaps.