Even if you and your spouse have lived together for many years before getting married, once you've gotten hitched you'll want to change a few legal documents to reflect this important change.

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A marriage changes your family structure, so update your Will accordingly. Add your new spouse as a beneficiary, and add or remove any property that was gained, lost, or consolidated in the marriage. You can make your spouse the executor of this new Will, or name someone else as executor. If you have an existing will, you can add a Codicil to update it without writing a new Will.

You can amend your Living Trust or write a new one to leave property to your spouse and other recipients. You and your spouse may also wish to set up a Joint Living Trust. In either case, you'll want to determine who manages your Living Trust.

Living Will

Let your spouse know your wishes for end of term health care, so that they'll be able to decide on your behalf when you are unable. Create a Living Will if you haven't already, or share your existing Living Will with your new spouse.

Insurance Policies

Reevaluate your life insurance, car insurance, and homeowner's insurance and/or renter's insurance. You'll probably need to take inventory of your combined assets. You might be able to get better rates now that you're married, and you should consider adding your spouse to these policies. 

Power of Attorney

You may want to give your spouse Power of Attorney regarding your business, financial, legal and health care decisions in case you cannot decide for yourself. Power of Attorney related to medical care is usually called a "Health Care Directive."

Legal Name Change

Changing your legal name because of a marriage is common practice, but by no means mandatory. If you want to change your name, you can do so by listing your new married name on your marriage license. Once you've tied the knot, your marriage certificate will be proof of your legal name change.  Next, apply for a new social security card and driver's license, and notify others of your name change, like banks, credit card companies, frequent flier memberships, or anywhere else you have an account under your maiden name.  Make sure to update any other legal documents with your new name as well.

You can find all of these documents and more at RocketLawyer.com, so update your plans to include and provide for your spouse today.

Get started Begin Your Estate Plan Answer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.

Get started Begin Your Estate Plan Answer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.