Okay, I'm married, now what?
October 6, 2008 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Now that I'm married, what do I do next? I have a handle on the whole name change thing, but what laws/benefits/etc apply differently to me/us? What should I be doing about taxes and insurance? What else am I not thinking of? (We were married in Wisconsin; we live in Illinois.)
posted by desjardins to Law & Government (8 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Off the top of my non-lawyer but married head:

-Adjust your W-2s with your employer if you have those.
-If you have life insurance and you want a benificiary who isn't your spouse, make sure that person is listed (otherwise defaults to your spouse.)
-Same thing for wills.
-You may now be eligible to use one another's health insurance; you usually have 30 days to figure out what you want to do and make any changes.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:55 AM on October 6, 2008

Also, congratulations on your Qualifying Event!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:56 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

Make sure that each of you has life insurance sufficient to keep you in your current living situation should something happen to the other. Yes, combining households saves money in some way, but if your spouse died, you'd still owe his half of the rent for the remainder of your lease (or mortgage, if you own), and you should have insurance sufficient to cover that. You may also want insurance to cover unpaid bereavement leave you may take from work and other such expenses. Each of you should make sure that the other is taken care of in the event of your untimely death.

If you don't have wills, make them. If you do have wills, update them.
posted by decathecting at 11:09 AM on October 6, 2008

This one is sort of optional, but you might want to change your emergency contact information (at doctor's offices, etc.) to your new spouse.
posted by geeky at 12:29 PM on October 6, 2008

Bank Accounts, Car Titles are a couple of the things that we dealt with. Auto insurance in general is cheaper once you are married, and if you combine them to the same policy it is usually cheaper.
posted by Amby72 at 1:19 PM on October 6, 2008

Make sure all your beneficiary info is updated on all your retirement and financial accounts. If you signed up for a 401(k) or IRA at some point in the past before you met your husband, and made your sibling or parent the beneficiary, it won't automatically change (as some other inheritance rights do) just because you tied the knot.

I recall reading some sad story on one of those personal finance sites (MSN Money, maybe?) about a couple that had been married for a long, long time, and when the husband eventually died his entire 401(k)--the retirement fund both he and his spouse had planned to retire on--went to his long-estranged sister, because he started it in his 20s and had never updated the beneficiary when he got married.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:27 PM on October 6, 2008

If your health insurance company is based in Illinois (and you will have to ask the insurance company or your HR dept, because they are often based out of state), by IL law they are obligated to cover birth control.
Last I heard.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:56 PM on October 6, 2008

Best answer: New passports. Also, you keep more of your earnings now (I was shocked at the difference, actually). If you own a home together, even if the contract is written in one spouse's name, you are equally liable; same for property. This applies to equity, sales, taxes, escrow, all the fun stuff. So make sure how you want all that arranged. New SSNs and ID's of course if you changed names.

I would NOT get checks with both your names on them... that's how accidents happen and people lose money/overdraft.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:46 PM on October 6, 2008

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