What to Do Legally Before You Tie the Knot

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After the proposal, most people think that they can go and get married. However, that would be a mistake. Though you can have a quick marriage, you will probably regret it since you’ll have a ton of paperwork to handle afterward. Here are some of the things that you need to do before you say “I do.”

Prenuptial Agreement

The first thing that you will need is a good prenuptial agreement. Most people think that these agreements are only for rich people. However, these agreements are always necessary because they clear the situation if divorce or separation comes up. With the high rates of divorce, there is a decent chance that your marriage won’t last. If that does happen, having a prenuptial agreement can be useful.

This is why family attorneys in Santa Fe and other lawyers advice taking this step. Besides that, prenuptial agreements force both sides to do some financial disclosures. This will give you an idea of what your partner has and what they owe. It also gives you an idea about the marital property laws of your state. This can influence some of your decisions in the future.

Estate Planning

The other side of the prenuptial agreement is the “till death do you part” of the marriage vow. Estate planning is what you need if you or your partner die. Your deaths might even be the same time. Death, especially when it is unexpected, can disrupt many lives. Estate planning lessens this disruption by giving people a power of attorney over your property.

This is important since some states automatically take your property to probate court if there is no will ready. An estate plan provides a will and a power of attorney. This will help resolve many of the issues that come with death.

couple signing contracts

Marriage License

Before you get married, you are going to need a license for it. Different states have procedures and requirements for a legal marriage license. For example, some states will require you to be at least 18 years old, while others allow 16-year-old marriages with parental consent. Note that you should apply for the license well before the wedding since it can take some time to process.

The Name Question

You and your partner need to resolve the question about your last names. Traditionally, the woman takes the man’s last name. However, modern times have changed that. Some women would like to keep their last name. Others would compromise and combine the two last names. For some people, this is important, so you have to sit down with your partner and make a decision.

Marriage is a milestone and, whether it lasts or not, it can be a marker of how far you have come. It also signals the next part of your life. This is why the above things need to be done so that your transition is as smooth as possible. Ensure that you work with your partner and lawyer before you tie the knot so that all of it is done correctly.

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