What you need to do
Key steps to consider, what to watch out for, and ways advisors can help as you and your spouse discuss your respective and joint financial situations.Find Your Firms
Plan for Expenses
Large upcoming expenditures such as the wedding, honeymoon, purchase of a primary residence, and legal/insurance fees may require a reallocation of cash flow or assets.
Decide What to Merge
Whether you decide to merge finances partially, fully, or not at all, consider the legal and tax implications of your respective debts and investments, the statuses of assets in property accounts and trusts, and potentially a prenuptial agreement.
Plan Long Term
Avoid surprises by having fully transparent discussions about historical and future considerations regarding joint or separate accounts and expenses, as well as long-term financial goals and estate planning.
There are less exciting logistical components that simply must be done: Re-titling of accounts, credit cards, IDs, etc. for name changes, as well as securing life insurance and making changes to tax filing statuses.
- Missing out on joint tax benefits
- Being unaware of state-specific property considerations
Major Life Events
Make changes to your tax filing status and planning strategy, based on getting married, having children, and purchasing or moving your primary residence.
Make sure you’re withholding enough based on your new tax filing status, reduce your taxable income as much as possible, and maximize all potential deductions.
Trust & Estate Firms
You may want to consider this if you live in a community property state and/or there’s a significant differential between you and your spouse in terms of income or assets.
Financial Advisory Firms
Have an objective third party help decide what makes the most financial sense in terms of lifestyle spending, saving/spending tradeoffs, and the merging of accounts.
Holistic Financial Strategy
Recalibrate your short- and long-term investment strategy and goals. An experienced financial adviser will have worked with many couples over time, and can flag potential issues and opportunities.