Marriage is arguably the biggest step in anyone’s life, and understandably so. You agreed to love and cherish one person for the rest of your life, and that’s probably the easiest part. What most newlyweds don’t realize is that there are several legal formalities that must take place, which also leads to your fair share of paperwork. Check out just some of the legal documents to complete after marriage in our guide below.
Name Change, Social Security Card, and Driver’s License
Not all spouses choose to change their name after marriage, but the vast majority do. The thing is, changing your name is a whole ordeal, but once you do it—you’ll never have to again (hopefully). When you change your name, there are several documents you should change while you’re at it. Those documents include your social security card, driver’s license, and passport; just to name a few.
Bank and Investment Accounts
Most couples choose to merge their finances after they marry which—you guessed it—requires paperwork. Most banks won’t allow you to merge accounts until the name change is complete, but you’ll at least need your marriage license. Don’t worry, nothing happens to your finances or investments in the meantime.
A Power of Attorney
Now that you’re married, you’re going to need a power of attorney. Prior to getting married, most people have their parent or guardian as a power of attorney, but they don’t hold that power after you say “I do.” The thing is, your spouse doesn’t hold that power until you both complete the paperwork with an attorney. The power of attorney is crucial in the event of a major health emergency, business decision, and other decisions.
A Postnuptial Agreement
While they’re not required, it’s wise to have a postnuptial agreement in place. A postnuptial agreement essentially puts on paper what happens if you and your spouse were to unfortunately separate. Postnuptial agreements can have several components, but the basics cover topics like finances and property. Now we understand you’re probably still in your “honeymoon phase,” but it doesn’t hurt having a postnuptial agreement. Ideally, you’ll never need it, but you’ll be glad you have an agreement if you do need it.
Most people say they’ve never done so much paperwork until they got married, and they’re right. With all the legal documents to complete after marriage, your signature will look like John Hancock’s in no time, or so we hope. Realistically, by the end of all these documents, your signature might look like a doctor’s signature more than anything.