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What to Do After the Wedding

Posted by Anonymous

Many couples look forward to a romantic honeymoon or at least some quiet relaxing time after the excitement and intensity of their wedding day. While this respite is undoubtedly welcomed, newlyweds should not lose sight of the business details that need to occur shortly after the wedding day.


Changing a Name


If one, or both, spouses are going to change their last name then it is important to be thorough and notify everyone who needs to know of the change. 


In order for the change to be legal, the spouse(s) changing his or her name(s) must notify the local social security office and be issued a new social security card. The social security office will require a copy of your marriage license and a specific form that can be found on their website.


Next, you will need a new driver's license. Typically, you need to go to your state Department (or Registry) of Motor Vehicles with your marriage license and current driver's license. You will need to pay any fees associated with getting a new license issued.


Your passport will also need to be changed. This can be done by mail by sending in your current passport, a copy of your marriage license, the required forms, fees and photographs.


While you are likely excited to start using your new name, it is important to remember that it will take some time to change your official government identification cards, such as your driver's license and passport. Therefore, if you are planning a trip immediately following your wedding you should make the reservations in your existing name so that you do not have problems clearing security when you present your identification.


Your employer must also be notified of your name change so that your benefits and paychecks are in your legal name. You might notify your employer prior to your wedding date if you want your e-mail address, business cards or stationery changed.


Combining Assets


Whether or not you change your name, you and your spouse may decide to make several or all of your financial accounts into joint accounts. You can change your bank accounts by both going to a local branch and providing proper identification. If you have any brokerage or investment accounts it is best to contact your financial advisor for directions.


Changing Beneficiaries     


If you do not already have your spouse listed as your life insurance beneficiary then you might consider whether you want to make that change. If your spouse has changed his or her name since the wedding then make sure that the name is updated on your insurance information.


Notifying Insurance Companies


Often, one or both spouses have various insurance policies for various contingencies. Once a couple is married it might be less expensive for the couple to have a joint policy rather than separate policies. There are different timeframes for changing insurance coverage so it is important to inquire with your employer's human resources department or with your insurance agent to make sure that you do not miss a window during which you can add your spouse to your policy. For example, if both spouses have health insurance through their employers, it might cost less to carry one family policy through one employer. However, if you wish to add your spouse to your coverage, you may have a relatively short time period of 30 days from your wedding day in which to do that. If you miss that time then you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to add your spouse to your policy.

A wedding is an exciting and emotional event. It can be easy to lose sight of the business details that must be attended to once two individuals become a legally married couple. However, these details are important to attend to so that your married life starts smoothly.



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