For prospective brides and grooms across South Africa, this is a time characterised by frenetic and careful planning, but many couples fail to look beyond the big day itself …
Buds are in full bloom and the icy chill has relaxed its grip on the country, which means wedding season is just around the corner. For prospective brides and grooms across South Africa, this is a time characterised by frenetic and careful planning, but many couples fail to look beyond the big day itself.
So while table settings, guest lists and canapés are likely to be reviewed several times over, in explicit detail, the longer-term implications of marriage itself tend to take a back seat.
But what happens once the thank you cards have been sent out and the honeymoon is just a distant memory?
Despite wedding vows alluding to both good times and bad, very few couples imagine anything but the former when standing at the altar. Plus, who wants to talk about insurance and maintenance arrangements and drain all the romance from the occasion?
While it might seem counter-intuitive, there are some things every bride and groom – no matter how blissfully in love they are – should discuss prior to walking down the aisle. It might seem unnecessary and unromantic, but by arming yourself with the correct information before signing your nuptial agreement, you’ll ensure you make the most of your married life and protect yourself in the event of rocky times ahead.
Here are a few key issues all couples should iron out prior to the big day:
It’s all in the planning
Nobody goes into a marriage thinking of the possibility of separation or divorce. However, young couples are strongly encouraged to view the level-headed, mature discussion of property, not under the shadow of divorce, but rather as an essential component of responsible financial planning.
Typically, there are two legal approaches to property in a marriage – the first being a marriage in community of property and the second, a marriage out of community of property or ANC (antenuptial contract).
A marriage out of community must be accompanied by a customised antenuptial contract. If you choose out of community of contract, you’ll need to decide between ANC with accrual or without. It’s important to find out which option will work best for you and keep your interests protected.
Young couples are strongly encouraged to view the level-headed, mature discussion of property not under the shadow of divorce, but rather as an essential component of responsible financial planning
In community of property
Should you opt to split, you’ll divide everything down the middle, including both your property and your debt. This might seem like the fairest way to get hitched, but you might want to check your partner’s credit score before signing on the dotted line.
It’s important to bear in mind that if one spouse has a business that goes insolvent – creditors are able to claim or attach the personal assets of both spouses.
Out of community of property
Although this system greatly reduces the risk of insolvency as it allows both parties to retain full ownership of their respective estates, it also often ends up in an unfair division of assets. ANCs can be entered into with or without an accrual system.
ANC with accrual: entitles both spouses to a share of all wealth acquired over the course of the marriage.
ANC without accrual: all financial transactions and estates remain separate.
Before you enter into your marriage, it’s important to understand the potential outcomes of each system and ensure you’ve picked one that best protects your interests in the long term.
Keep your assets safe
Remember that your name isn’t the only thing you might need to change once you’re hitched – you’ll also need to revise your insurance policies to cover your new needs as a couple.
If you’re moving in together for the first time, you’ll want to perform a full inventory of all your assets, so that all those valuables are listed under one insurance plan. It’s also vital that you update all your contact information and details of security arrangements in order to ensure that your claims can be processed smoothly – after all you don’t want to be overpaying for insurance or be under-insured when you need it most.
Couples are also able to save costs by listing multiple assets under a single home insurance plan, which can often qualify you for significant monthly premium discounts.
Finally, life insurance should be considered when you’re preparing for wedding season
That’s because life insurance can pay for funerals, estate taxes, outstanding debts, replacement income, various expenses and can provide a lump sum to cover living costs. When families are started, life insurance becomes even more important, providing for children should anything happen to either or both parents.
So, as the big day approaches, couples are encouraged to spend some time planning not only for the wedding day, but for every day that comes thereafter. A crucial part of this is a discussion of financial needs, which allows for clear-headed planning for a great future together.
Article credit: http://www.all4women.co.za/869062/relationships/wedding-articles/prepping-wedding-beyond-aisle