Bridesmaids – What You Should Tell the Bride About Planning
By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD
Bridesmaids was named one of the best pictures of the year by the American Film Institute, which released its annual Top 10 list of films and TV today. Other films that made the cut include The Help and The Descendants, which also nabbed today's L.A. Critics top nod!
Thirty-something Annie (Kristen Wiig) has hit a rough patch, but finds her life turned completely upside down when she takes on the Maid of Honor role in her best friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding. Bridesmaids tend to the bride at the wedding or in the movie, but what should Annie whisper in Lillian’s ear about planning for after the honeymoon?
If you didn’t do a prenup, it’s probably too late to really be effective, but finish it up before the nuptials. Yes, better late than never, but signing a prenup on the Church steps is never advisable. The courts will often view an agreement signed to close to the marriage as one possibly signed under pressure.
Reevaluate all insurance coverage, especially life insurance. Be sure your new spouse is named "beneficiary". Consider a trust. Life insurance, especially in 2nd and later marriages can provide a great way to protect a new spouse and kids from a prior marriage without either side having to struggle with the other.
Review all investments and come up with a combined asset allocation that works for you new position. You’re starting a new life. Whether you combine assets or keep them separate for personal reasons (typically pursuant to the terms of your prenup), your life is starting on a new, different and hopefully wonderful path. Reflect that new path in your investment plans. You might be saving for a home or some other goal that did not exist when you were single. That needs to be addressed.
Revise all estate planning documents to reflect your new marital status. In a brand new marriage, you might not yet have the comfort to name your new spouse in all fiduciary capacities, but discuss this openly and in a positive way. Then as your relationship solidifies, revisit and revise these decisions.
Prepare a budget. Get your marriage off on the right financial footing. No one likes to deal with this, but your finances, especially if it is a two salary marriage will be quite different. Plan for it.
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