Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and thousands of individuals will be “popping the question” and getting the question popped at them. This is, at least what jewelers around the country have been spending all those advertising dollars on. It’s also what those individuals wanting to be “popped,” so to speak, are also hoping for, and my hopes are with you.
In celebration of that bended knee, larger than life smile, and mother’s joyous tears, I offer a few points to ponder after the popping and before the party planning. The points are sobering but will help to provide years of “bubble and squeaky” happiness long after you’ve settled in with each other.
- If you’re not cohabiting, have “the money talk.” If you are living together and haven’t had the money talk, tsk..tsk… If you are cohabiting and have had it, good for you! and have the money talk again.
- If there is a large disparity of income or both of you are very affluent, consider a prenuptial agreement. It is commonplace in such scenarios so no one should feel offended if it is mentioned or requested. The basic rule is that both parties should retain their own attorneys to draft and review the document, which should be signed before the formal engagement celebration, if there is one.
- If you’re cohabiting obtain life insurance and powers of attorney. If you’re not living together but engaged, obtain these items before going on the honeymoon.
- If you’re on relatively equal financial footing economically and the families are smiling, when you return from the honeymoon, add a will to your estate plan.
- If even one close family member is frowning, turn that frown upside down by promising to leave him or her something in your will and then add an in terrorem clause. Better yet, have a trust prepared with a pour-over will attached and leave him or her whatever you like with or without the in terrorem clause.
Love means planning a relationship founded on pragmatic principles as well as butterflies in the tummy.