Sometimes change is small, and sometimes change is big. Whether you are making plans to marry, are in the process of separation or divorce, or recently lost your spouse, several legal documents will soon need your attention. First & Farmers National Bank does not provide tax or legal advice; however, we can help you assess your financial situation. Here are some things you may wish to consider:
If you are making plans to marry
- Provide a change of address.
- Sit down with your future spouse and discuss your views about money. Knowing each others’ thoughts on money issues could prevent problems later in life.
- Set up a budget with which both of you can live. Discuss decisions about money, savings and purchases. Through online banking, you can take advantage of Money Management® budgeting tools.
- Even though one person may be the one designed to pay the bills routinely, it is important that both of you understand what you as a couple are doing financially. A team approach is healthy for your financial future as well as important if one becomes ill or is on a lengthy trip.
- If a name change is planned, notify the bank and other creditors. You will also need to file the change with the Social Security Administration and Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Review your credit scores and be sure to maintain credit in your own names.
- Discuss your retirement dreams and financial plans to achieving those dreams.
- Change beneficiary information on appropriate accounts such as insurance and retirement. While you are there, consider an appropriate life insurance policy to protect your family.
- Last but not least, you will need to update all legal documents, including your will. If you die without a will, the state will decide how to distribute your probate assets.
If you are separating or divorcing
- Maintain a current list of your assets and be sure to not overlook memberships, season tickets to activities, retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Include the physical location, account number, and beneficiary information if appropriate.
- Review your essential financial information files (e.g. tax returns, statements regarding your bank and other investment accounts, insurance policies, mortgage or lease agreements, retirement account, and your estate plan).
- If you haven’t already, establish credit in your own name. This will help you to qualify for credit when needed.
- If you are separated, notify your spouse in writing of your intent to close all joint accounts at least 10 days before you do so, then after the designated period of time, close the accounts.
- Take a long look at your retirement “big picture.”
If you have recently lost your spouse
- Determine if a will exists and who is designated to handle the will.
- Determine what is owed. What are your just debts? How much will the funeral and burial cost?
- Investigate insurance policies.
- See if there are any death benefits.
- Determine amount of state taxes to be paid.