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Legal Lessons from Movies: Weddings - ThinkstockPhotos-177114897-c.jpg

Legal Lessons from Movies: Weddings

Love is in the air!

We’re still celebrating last week’s Supreme Court decision, ruling in favor of same-sex marriage (and love for all)! It’s a special time so in that same spirit, we present to you our next installation of Legal Lessons from Movies (previous topic: Vegas). This time, we have a round-up of movies about weddings and some legal lessons that could’ve helped a lot of these newlyweds along the way:

Bride Wars
Plot: Two best friends quickly become rivals when their wedding planner accidentally schedules their respective dream weddings on the same day.
Legal Lesson: Hiring a wedding planner? Tackling the vendors on your own? Either way, it’s important to get your business arrangements in writing. Remember to spell out exactly what you expect… and try not to lose your best friend along the way.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Plot: After the sudden death of his wife, Larry is worried about what would happen to his children if he passes away too. With a little creative approach to his problem, he marries his hetereosexual friend to receive domestic partnership benefits.
Legal Lesson: Pretending to be a married couple may have been an overreaction. Instead, a change of beneficiary letter may have done the trick. This letter allows you to formally submit a request to your insurance company.

What Happens in Vegas
Plot: Two people wake up to discover that they’ve gotten married after a night of heavy drinking. The catch is, one of them won a huge jackpot using the other’s coin. Both of them try to sabotage each other to claim the money.
Legal Lesson: You can lay out specific terms in a prenup so that both spouses can protect their respective assets prior to the marriage, even if one of you ends up winning the lotto.

Elopement
Plot: A student falls in love with her professor. Against the wishes of parents on both sides, they elope.
Legal Lesson: Even if you plan on eloping, you should revise your will with a codicil to will so your newly married spouse is included. And if you haven’t started your will yet, the first gift you can give your new family is the gift of protection with a complete estate plan.

So what are your favorite movies about weddings? Share your thoughts below!

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