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It’s a well-known fact: money is a topic that can cause great strife between engaged and married partners. Although it’s probably not high up on your list of fun activities to do together, taking the time to sit down and talk about your finances is something that all couples should do before getting married.

The engagement period can be filled with excitement, announcements, photos and wedding plans. Because of all of the events leading up to tying the knot, many fiancés never get around to learning important financial details about their spouses-to-be.

Talking about money prior to becoming legally wed is so important because you will be sharing a financial life together after the wedding day. In order to get fully in sync, you need to know how your love approaches a number of money matters. Be sure to cover all of the following topics in your finance discussion:

  • Existing debt held by either of you – Lay it all out on the table, including how many credit cards you each have and the balances on all of them. If your beloved has incurred a significant amount of debt, you should work out a plan to get that debt under control.

 

  • Credit scores – It’s certainly not as romantic as planning your honeymoon or sharing how many children you hope to have, but if your future partner has a super-high credit score, it should make you swoon. If either of you have less-than-desirable credit reports, it’s better to address it now so that you can work together on repairing the problem.

 

  • Spending habits – Discuss things like how much money each of you spends on leisure items, whether you should share a checking account and which bills each of you will be responsible for once you’re married.

Along with talking about financial details from your past and present, it’s also smart to look toward the future. After all, entering into a marriage is a life-long commitment! As you plan your life together, you’ll likely talk about what kind of house you’d both like, which schools you’d prefer your children attend and if there will be a family pet. To ensure the safety and well-being of your future family and home, it’s important that you also discuss:

  • Health insurance – Shortly after the actual date of your wedding, you’ll be given a small window of time in which to make any desired changes to your Amarillo insurance policies. Do your research early so that you’ll know who has the most cost-effective coverage. Decide now who will sign onto the other spouse’s policy so that you don’t have to figure it out after the wedding and risk missing the enrollment window.

 

  • Life insurance – It’s likely that neither of you has a life insurance policy, especially if you’ve never been married before. Now that you’re getting hitched and combining your finances, you officially have someone who depends on you. You and your spouse should each get life insurance coverage that would sufficiently help cover expenses if one of you passes away.

 

  • Your will – Since you’re already going to be discussing the “business” end of marriage, add the topic of your wills to the list. Getting married is a very good reason to either create or make changes to your will. Both of you should know what’s contained in each other’s estate plan – including any living wills.

It’s wise to work with an estate planning attorney and at your Amarillo insurance agency so that you can put all of the necessary plans into action as soon as you are officially married. Sit down with these professionals before the date of your wedding and make a follow-up appointment for shortly after you’re home from your honeymoon to ensure that all of your accounts, policies and plans are implemented exactly as you and your new spouse planned.

Image credit: Ksenia Andreeva