The wedding is over, and it was perfect. You breathe a sigh of relief. No more plans to make, dresses to try on, papers to fill out, appointments to schedule -- simply put, no more red tape. Now you can relax and watch your life unfold before your very eyes. Well, not quite. After getting married, there are certain steps that you must take to make sure that the financial and legal aspects of your life reflect your newly-wed status.
The following is a summary of important post-marriage actions to take, which will vary by the couple and their local laws.
Checklist for Post-Marriage Actions to Take
There are a number of things left to do before you can get down to the business of happily ever after. Attend to these final post-wedding to-dos during the first few weeks (or even days) after your wedding, and you can enjoy the memories of your special day for decades to come.
The following checklist can serve as a helpful reminder of what remains to be done. Not every item below may apply to you, but there are surely some listed tasks that require your immediate attention.
_____ Change the beneficiary on your life insurance policy, if desired, to your spouse.
_____ Obtain life insurance naming your spouse as the beneficiary to ensure continued financial support if you should die.
_____ Write a new will or revise your existing one.
_____ Add your spouse to your group health insurance policy.
_____ Add your spouse to your group dental insurance policy.
_____ Notify your auto insurer of any change in automobile drivers and address.
_____ Decide if you will change your last name.
_____ If you change your name as a result of the marriage, notify all of your creditors of the change.
_____ If you move, notify all of your creditors of your change of address.
_____ Notify the Social Security Administration of your name change.
_____ Apply for a driver's license with your new name on and/or address on it.
_____ Apply for a driver's license with your new address on it.
_____ Change your name on your bank accounts and checks or open new joint accounts with your spouse.
_____ Change your address on your bank accounts and checks.
_____Mail in your completed marriage license to your county probate court.
_____Discuss division of household chores and responsibilities (bills, housework, etc.)
Post-Marriage Name Changes: More Information
Here's a list of other businesses and entities to notify if you legally change your name:
- Post office (via change of address form)
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Social Security Administration
- Department of Records or Vital Statistics (the issuers of birth certificates)
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Creditors and debtors
- Telephone and utility companies
- State taxing authority
- Insurance agencies
- Registrar of Voters
- Passport Office
- Public assistance office (welfare)
- Veterans Administration
Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you and your partner recently tied the knot, you may need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. A good lawyer will ensure that you've completed all of the most crucial post-marriage actions, such as name changes. Keep in mind that it's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Many offer free consultations.
Your first step should be to contact an experienced family attorney.