DON’T GET JILTED BY A RUNAWAY BRIDE OR GROOM

Summer weddings are de rigueur, and everyone aspires to walk down the aisle without a glitch.  However, news stories of the runaway bride or groom have prompted many brides and grooms to ask what they need to know before they say “I Do.”

Insure Your Options – Wedding insurance will not cover a change of heart if you or your betrothed gets cold feet.  However, if for some unforeseen reason your best-laid plans fall through, wedding insurance may cover your costs and afford you some protections.  For example, many policies will cover you if key people essential to the wedding are unable to attend due to illness or injury.  Wedding insurance will also generally cover inclement weather that prevents the nuptials from taking place, or prevents the majority of guests from attending.  Be careful, stormy skies and light rainfall usually will not qualify as a reason to cancel.  Insurance may also cover you if the caterer does not arrive with the food, if the photographer is a no show, if the wedding reception site burns down or goes out of business, if your wedding dress gets ruined or lost, or if some mishap occurs at the reception.  If you do opt to insure, do your homework and weigh whether the coverage justifies the expense of the policy.  Read the policy critically, and focus on the fine print.

Vow To Open Up Both Your Heart And Checkbook – Couples are not always in simpatico when it comes to money.  Often, we do not realize how disparate our views and priorities are until we are faced with a major financial decision.  To avoid sparks that are far from romantic, communicate, learn attitudes, and ask questions.  Delaying money talks may only compound your problems.  Questions to embrace include: 1) what assets do you have; 2) do you want to put everything in joint names, or do you want to maintain separate accounts; 3) who will handle the checkbook and household bills; 4) will you both have the freedom to spend as you please, or will you have to answer to each other each time you make a purchase; 5) if there is only one wage earner, will the non-earning mate have access to the checkbook, and does the earned income belong to both of you equally; 6) do you have a plan for putting money into savings, and will you set aside savings for emergencies, and towards education and retirement?

Do Not Become Indebted – Just because you merge hearts does not mean that you have to assume debt.  Do you know if your mate carries a lot of debt, such as student loans, car payments, or credit card bills?  If you do not have a handle on their financial picture, now is the time to take a snapshot.  Debt can hamper your joint financial goals, such as applying for a mortgage, or obtaining a loan together.  Any joint credit accounts that you have, such as auto loans, credit cards, and mortgages will show up on both of your credit reports.  If your mate does have credit problems, it may be a wise idea to keep all of your accounts and assets separate.  Even if they do not have a problem with debt, it is sensible to have some credit and assets in your own name, since not every relationship works out.  You always want to ensure that you have a credit history of your own, and a degree of financial independence.

Please send your consumer and legal questions to Elisha Hoffman Abrams, Esq. at elisha.abrams@att.net, or write to 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 1C-46, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Tel: 215-765-4828, Web Address: www.legallyinformed.com

© Elisha Hoffman Abrams and LegallyInformed’s Blog, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elisha Hoffman Abrams and LegallyInformed’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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