My last post was about divorce, real estate and money today we’re talking about marriage real estate and money.
This is not about kids getting married or having kids. This is not about those just getting started in life, with out established credit, or major assets.
This is not about those who are not emancipated or over 18.
This is about those considering marriage, if indeed marriage is considered. I know in my case from the day I met Brenda, I didn’t so much consider marriage, I just couldn’t consider life without her.
This is about those with a credit history.
This is about those with monetary assets and liabilities! Those with money. Those with debts.
1. Credit! In community property states and some dower states, has your new spouse regardless of gender bringing their credit with them. Bad or excessive credit should not come as a surprise! Every thing done after the wedding will involve both of you, with you being jointly and severally libel for your spouses debts! Depending on the state you take up residence in you may be liable for debts accrued by your new spouse before marriage. You may even find yourself directly or indirectly libel for debits incurred by your new spouse’s ex-spouse, before their divorce!
Read yesterday’s post, divorce decrees may say the Ex is responsible for selected debts, but it’s not relevant or binding to your creditors, you still owe the money and it could be collected from your newly aquired communty assets, depending on your state. It will show on your credit report!
2. You may be aware
that mortgage lenders often split a spouse with credit or income problems out of the transaction. Are you aware that some/many loan programs don’t allow this?
Are you aware that in many states judgements even those of your spouse/ex-spouce attach to newly aquired property before that spouse can waive their rights to the property. This means even though they're not goinn tobe on the loan or title their credit can stop your loan!
But, they don't have any judgements, what about tax liens? Judgements and liens may be in other names, a woman has choices about her name when she gets married? You'll need to check any and all names your new spouse has ever been known by, and any and all names of every ex-spouse!
Something new to consider: the shame of our socialist mistakes, Student Loans. Many a graduated finishes school in more debt than their parents had in a life time! For many student loans constitute more than their parents made in a life time, a doctorate can exceed their parents and grandparents accumulated life time earnings. Don’t forget those credit cards you both got in the mail as freshmen!
I don't personally believe in them, but older couples and second marriages with children or major assets should have them. Don’t forget a will, and/or a trust before the wedding!
Most married couples take title to property as "Joint Tenants" or "Tenants by Entireties, (Joint Tenancy by a married couple,) but older couples and couples with prior children should consider other options, normally "Tenants in Common"! Tenantry is a separate subject and should be discussed with an estate planner, preferably an attorney!
I've never advocated holding investment property in the same manor as your home. I believe most investments should be held by an "LLC" which is owned by a well planed "Living Trust." Again the more you have to protect, the more you need good advice and a plan.
Just getting married doesn't necessary change your insurance, call your agent! Your new spouse may not be covered! Hazard insurance may not cover your as yet unnamed new spouse's newly acquired interest in your real estate. Your car insurance should be checked, your spouse is probably covered when driving your car, but if named they would be coved in any car they drive. Check with your agent. 5. Those with assets considering marriage need to do some financial planning first!
6. Life insurance!
Most of our older widowers and divorcees never considered it either. Remember the kids! Remind older lovebirds to plan their finances, first. This is a very good time to reconsider your needs, check with your agent.
7. Social Security and Pensions. Social Insecurity would be a better term, and many private annuities stop benefits your late spouse paid for when you remarry! Check!
8. There is always more than one way! I’m an advocate of traditional marriage, but I’m also pragmatic! All the legal benefits that accrue with marriage can be had al-a-cart! All the legal benefits can be had by any couple or even group!
Marriage is mankind’s greatest and oldest statement of love, but established at a time when you married in you teens and died in your thirties. Established before consumer debt and social meddling!
Love remains a blessing not business decision!
Marriage has morphed into a business for those with financial baggage. Hopefully you’ve talked about love, you’ve talked about sex, you’ve talked about the byproducts! Hopefully you’ll talk about finances! Hopefully before the pending wedding is announced!