Talking about money can minimize stress.
You are engaged.
This means you have a lot of planning in the near future.
Each of these is on your checklist, along with many more for sure.
According to a recent My Primetime News article titled “Hearing Wedding Bells? Be Sure Finances are Included in Your Planning,” you should discuss long-term finances as well as your wedding budget.
What should these discussions include?
Be honest about your finances.
If you lie (or hide embarrassing details), your spouse will find out sooner or later.
You should each know the spending habits, thoughts on investing, financial history, and goals of your partner.
You should also talk about financial liabilities.
These would include debts and loans or even bankruptcy or alimony from a prior marriage.
You should have a plan regarding how and even if you will be merging finances.
If you are dividing financial responsibilities, you are not excused from being and remaining fully informed.
Abdication is not an option.
If one of you becomes incapacitated or passes away, the bills will still need to be paid and savings may need to be accessed.
If you are both bringing money into the marriage, you may want to consider having a financial "exit strategy" in case the marriage fails.
Does this mean you do not trust each other?
It is simply wise to be prepared depending on your unique circumstances.
Inventory your assets.
Decide who will get what.
You should also have an estate plan to protect your family should you die.
This includes creating or updating any relevant last wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.
You should purchase life insurance.
Review retirement plans and bank accounts.
Creating an estate plan can be complicated.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure you are prepared for this next stage of life.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: My Primetime News (May 2, 2018) “Hearing Wedding Bells? Be Sure Finances are Included in Your Planning”