Couples getting married have plenty of important things to do.
For those who choose to hold a wedding, that alone requires lots of planning and preparation, including picking the venue, choosing wedding outfits, selecting the right wedding photographer, and even shortlisting the right tunes for your guests to jam out to.
However, walking down the aisle and saying “I Do” is just the beginning.
With your new status as husband and wife come financial implications, additional responsibilities, and benefits that you should take full advantage of. Here are 6 critical, non-obvious things that newlyweds should know about.
#1 Write A New Will
At DollarsAndSense, we previously published articles on the importance of making a will, how you can make a legally valid will online, and the implications on your assets and CPF monies if you didn’t make a will.
What you might not realise is that in Singapore, getting married invalidates all previously made wills, which means you will need to make a new one.
Source: Singapore Statues
Even though thinking about how you would like your assets to be distributed in the event of your untimely demise is probably the last thing on your mind, it should probably be one of the first things you do after you’re legally married.
#2 Do A CPF Nomination
The same revocation of your will applies to your CPF Nomination as well.
Source: Are You Ready?
For those who are not aware, your CPF monies are not covered under your estate, and cannot be willed to your surviving next-of-kin. Instead, you will need to express your wishes for distribution of your CPF funds using a CPF Nomination.
#3 Discuss Financial Planning Matters Like Savings Accounts And Liabilities
As all married couples can probably attest to, there are many potential sources of strain and stress in the fulfilling journey of sustaining and strengthening your marriage, including your relationship with the in-laws, learning to live together, and financial matters.
In order to prevent money from being a wedge that causes unnecessary friction in your marriage, it is important to sit down with your spouse to discuss how both of you would like to manage the finances in your household.
While the both of you are still in the “honeymoon period”, when each of you can do no wrong to each other, seize the opportunity to discuss financial matters like whether you’d like to set up joint savings accounts, how these accounts should be used, and who’s responsible for the bills and loans incurred for the home.
#4 Review Insurance Policies
Each of you might already have bought insurance policies based on your needs and value at that point in time.
However, now that you’re married and have a spouse as a dependant – with perhaps more little ones to come – it would be timely to make an appointment with your financial adviser and reassess your insurance coverage needs.
In addition to plugging potential insurance coverage gaps, some insurance policies allow benefits to be enjoyed by your spouse, or give you the option to pay more to also cover your spouse. These spousal benefits mean there might be overlapping coverage, or you may be overpaying for individual coverage when you could be enjoying economies of scale.
To ensure your spouse receives the proceeds of your life insurance policies if the worst happens, you should also consider formally nominating him/her as the beneficiary of your policies.
#5 Review Property Matters
HDB has strict rules on flat ownership, some of which are affected by your martial status. If both of you bought a HDB flat as singles, or is a co-owner of a HDB flat (say with a parent) one of you will need to let go of your HDB flat when both of you decide to move in together. You will need to do so in order to add your spouse as a legal occupier of your flat.
If you’re still paying for your mortgage or have multiple properties, it is worth having a chat about all of your financial obligations and how you’d like to tackle it as a couple.
#6 Tell Human Resources About Your Marriage
Depending on how big your company is and how pro-active your Human Resources (HR) department is, you could get married and your HR staff might not realise it until months after.
Check in with HR and share the good news, because your company may have benefits for employees getting married, including budget for wedding gifts, allowing your spouse to be added to your company’s group employee insurance, as well as marriage leave and spouse care leave quotas. You should most definitely find out what these benefits are and take full advantage.