Financial Reminders Before Remarriage
Financially speaking, individuals tend to have more to bring to the table, and more to consider, on marriages past the first. Nasdaq recently put together an article, “Getting Remarried? 5 Financial Steps to Take Before Tying the Knot (Again),” that sets out five common financial pitfalls for remarried couples.
Take stock of your combined assets, debts, and ongoing obligations. Waiting to have conversations about money until it becomes an issue, for example for a big purchase, is a common error. This makes sense for any couple looking to marry but is a necessity for a couple where one or both partners are remarrying. Often those who remarry will have much more complex investment and payment obligations, such as diversified investment assets, sophisticated tax planning, and child support. Be direct with your partner from the start, and make a plan together.
Protect your interests with a pre or post-nuptial agreement. This is not an easy subject to bring up with a spouse or spouse-to-be, but it can make all the difference if divorce happens. These agreements are often the only way to legally claim specific assets as separate within a marriage, in the case of divorce and distribution. They can also help protect children, financially. If you are recently married and without a prenup, state law may have one for you already. Look into your state’s laws.
Discuss child-related expenses, including for children from a prior marriage or relationship. Major expenses like college tuition, daycare, and healthcare need to be discussed, first between spouses, then with an attorney who can help spot long-term issues and provide potential options.
Review your beneficiary designations. This is an issue that is easily overlooked and easily remedied, but can cause major difficulties later if not seen to. Check all accounts and life insurance policies, and update as needed.
Review your estate planning documents. The time to review estate plans is at the biggest milestones in life: births, deaths, and marriages. Unfortunately, those tend to be the times when we are busiest. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney about the review of your documents, especially wills, trusts, and healthcare decision-making documents.
Reference: Nasdaq (April 20, 2018) “Getting Remarried? 5 Financial Steps to Take Before Tying the Knot (Again)”