Financial planning for after your wedding day

Money is always one of the most challenging aspects of a relationship, especially if you're about to become part of a blended family

Your wedding day is right around the corner.

You’re practicing your reception speech. You love each other and you’re making a lifetime commitment.

You’ve no doubt talked frequently about your future together, but did your talks include dollar signs?

Money is always one of the most challenging aspects of a relationship, especially if you’re about to become part of a blended family. Here are some prenup financial basics to smooth your transition to married life:

Consider a prenup A written prenuptial agreement can protect certain assets accumulated before your marriage or for children from a previous relationship. Each party should receive independent legal advice and speak to an experienced family lawyer about what should and shouldn’t be in the agreement and make sure the agreement is signed well in advance of the wedding day.

Tell all, know all Each of you should disclose assets, loans and other financial commitments and credit history. A partner’s undisclosed poor credit history could cause unpleasant surprises when you’re applying for a joint credit card or a loan.

Pick an asset If one or both of you brought assets, like a house or car, into the union, decide if you should keep or sell them. Alternatively, one person may “buy” their share of a larger asset (such as a home), by giving the other spouse assets worth half the value of that property.

Merge or purge Decide if it’s best to maintain separate bank accounts, credit cards and investments or to merge them to eliminate duplication and enhance financial benefits. Also consider this, while it may be financially advantageous to pool your investments for a more robust portfolio, keeping assets separate can avoid legal implications in the event of a separation or divorce.

You may also want to keep assets separate in the event you want to leave them to children from a previous relationship.

Share your goals Agree on shared financial goals, like buying a home or starting a family. If you have children, invest in an RESP to help save for their education.

Protect your partner Disability insurance can provide a steady income stream for your family if you are unable to work. Life insurance can provide a lump sum to your beneficiaries. Mortgage protection can pay off that large debt.

Entering a blended family? You may need to update your beneficiary designations.

Reduce your tax bill Take advantage of all available deductions and such income-splitting opportunities as spousal RRSPs and pension income-splitting. Use effective tax-planning and investment strategies to gain immediate and long-term retirement benefits.

A new will makes it right Except in Québec and Alberta, marriage usually voids all earlier wills — so update yours. Speak to an experienced lawyer to update your wills. For more plans and strategies that will build the strongest financial foundation for your unique union, talk to your professional adviser.

J. Kevin Dobbelsteyn is a certified financial planner with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. His column appears every Wednesday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

Guenther’s efforts are aimed at persons in need. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay group provides showers of chivalry for those in need

Guenther just got federal tax status for Wiseland Humanitarian Association

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

The site of the King George Hotel in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard
VIU students research Cumberland’s past, future

Specific practicum topics were King George Hotel’s significance, densification incentives

Courtenay–Alberni MP Gord Johns says 12 million Canadians do not have dental insurance. Photo by Bofu Shaw, courtesy of Unsplash
Courtenay–Alberni MP, CDA consider dental care for all Canadians

Gord Johns has initiated a mail-out that asks constituents the date of… Continue reading

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Most Read