Getting married requires decisions about everything from how to handle your finances to who gets grandma's tea set after you're gone. If you fill out legal documents, such as wills, change your insurance policies or just create a computer spreadsheet listing all your assets, you need to take the time to discuss how marriage will affect your decisions about money.
Who Should I Use as My Next of Kin If I'm Married?
All kinds of legal documents and life situations need you to identify your next of kin. Who you list as your next of kin when you are married depends on the purpose for the designation and what you want to happen in a particular situation. In most situations your spouse is the logical choice as your next of kin. Select the person who is best able to make decisions regarding your health care, or the person who is best able to administer your estate in the event of your death. If you don't designate a next of kin, the legal process will designate one for your. For example, your life insurance policy will designate your surviving spouse, then children, then parents to pay out benefits if you don't name a specific beneficiary. In the event of death, most government entities, such as the State Department, consider the surviving spouse to be the next of kin.
How Will My Car Insurance Change Once I'm Married?
Lots of things change once you get married, while others stay the same. Some things, like your car insurance, give you options. For example, now that you've tied the knot you can combine your car insurance into a single policy, which could result in a lower combined premium. If you both have vehicles, you could get a multi-car discount by combining policies. Insurance companies tend to look at married couples as a lower risk, which could also lower your costs. On the downside, if you married a speed demon or risk-taker, the insurance company looks at your combined risk and could increase your car insurance premiums across the board. If you maintain separate policies, your premiums won't be affected by your spouse's behavior.
Can I Receive Pell Grants Even If I'm Married?
The Pell grant is a federal needs-based educational grant that could put up to $5,550 into your pocket. To qualify for the Pell grant, you have to be a full-time or part-time student at a qualified post-secondary educational institution. Your aid is affected by whether you attend school for all or part of the academic year. Your financial need, based on information you provide by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, determines the amount of money you get from the Pell grant. Being married does not disqualify you from receiving the Pell grant, but instead of figuring your need based on your and your parents' financial status, your and your spouse's financial status determines your need.
When a Man Gets Married is His Money & Property Still His?
In the common law states, the person who pays for an item is usually considered the owner. What you bring into a marriage is typically yours unless you choose to share it with your spouse. If you have the title to property in your own name, such as real estate or a car, that property belongs to you. If you have a bank account in your own name, that money typically belongs to you. Once you put that property or money into a joint account with your spouse, you both have ownership. If you live in one of the community property states -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin -- money you earn and property you acquire after you get married typically belongs to both spouses.
Does Changing to "Married" Increase Payroll Tax Withholding?
Your employer uses the information you provide on your Form W-4 to determine the proper amount of taxes to withhold from your paycheck. In addition to the number of allowances that you claim, you must check the box indicating your marital status. Checking the Married status will reduce the taxes withheld; it is the Single status that increases the amount of taxes withheld. You have the option of selecting the Married, but withholding at the higher Single rate. You can also designate a specific additional amount to be withheld from each paycheck.
Why Can't I Claim Student Loan Interest if I'm Married?
The student loan interest deduction is taken as an adjustment to your income that you can take if you are married and file a joint return, regardless of whether you itemize or claim the standard deduction. You can't take the deduction if you are married and file separate returns or if you are not legally liable for paying the loan. Your modified adjusted gross income may reduce or eliminate the amount of your deduction. The Tax Relief Act of 2010 extended the student loan interest deduction through 2012. For the 2011 tax year, you could deduct the amount of student loan interest you actually paid during the year, up to $2,500. Those married and filing a joint return couldn't take the deduction for 2011 if their modified AGI was $150,000 or more.
- State Department: Identifying Next of Kin
- Department of Veterans Affairs: Servicemembers' and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Handbook
- Idaho Department of Insurance: Combining Your Insurance
- CollegeGrants.org: Grants for Married College Students
- Nolo: Marriage & Property Ownership: Who Owns What?
- Internal Revenue Service: Tax Withholding
- Internal Revenue Service: Topic 456 -- Student Loan Interest Deduction
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education: Student Loan Interest Deduction
Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.