Changing your name? Here's where to start.
If you're planning on changing your last name as part of your new marriage, there are a few steps you have to take after saying “I do.” Your marriage license will list your new last name, but to make it official, start by applying for a new Social Security card with the updated information. You'll need a certified copy of your marriage certificate with the raised seal and your new last name on it to get started on this process.
Next, you're going to have to brave the lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new driver's license. Check your state's specific requirements before you go, but in most instances you'll need to bring your old license, your marriage certificate, and your new social security card. Updating your passport as soon as you have these steps done is a good idea too.
Once those steps are completed, it's time to start working through updating your name on items like your alumni associations, professional memberships, subscriptions, and at your place of employment. A good rule of thumb is to update your name at any place you would normally update your address when you move.
Get your financial affairs in order.
If you've changed your name, you'll need to go to the bank and put your new married name on all your accounts. You'll also need to order new checks, new credit cards, ATM cards with your updated name. Again, don't forget to bring your marriage certificate, new social security card and driver's license. Regardless of whether or not you've changed your name, many couples decide to open up joint accounts after getting married, or adding one another to existing accounts.
Getting married also means changes to how you file taxes. You are considered married for the entire calendar year of your wedding, regardless of whether you married on January 1 or December 31, . Have a discussion with your spouse about your options to file jointly or separately, depending on your individual circumstances.
Plan for the long term.
While it's not the easiest thing to talk about, it's a good idea to plan ahead for the unexpected. Consider working with a lawyer to create a will, and be sure to update the designated beneficiary on your bank accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies.
This is also a good time to take stock of your insurance policies and decide whether you need to make updates, or purchase new coverage. Talk to an insurance professional who can help you determine what your needs are and suggest the right products for you.