If you're engaged to be married, should you change your life insurance policy before the wedding day? Do you wait until you've both said your vows and the minister has signed the certificate? While the decision is ultimately yours, these are some things that you need to consider.
Would you leave your intended spouse in a financial bind?
Are you and your intended spouse paying for the wedding yourselves? It's not uncommon these days for couples to pay for all or part of the festivities, and all those small expenses add up very quickly. One recent survey found that couples spend an average of $32,641 on their wedding—although costs can vary greatly by location. If you're in Alaska, you'll probably only spend a little over $17,000. If you're living in New York City, however, you may be looking at a cost of more than $82,000.
If you die suddenly, would your intended husband or wife be able to handle any debt that he or she has taken on in order to have the wedding? While he or she probably wouldn't be responsible for any wedding-related debt that you handled entirely on your own, he or she would still be responsible for any contracts that you both signed—even if you intended to pay the bill. While it's never fun to consider the possibility that you could die shortly before you say your vows, it does happen. If it does, you probably want your intended spouse to have the benefit of your insurance to pay off the wedding-related debt.
Another issue could be your rental contract or mortgage. If you and your intended spouse have signed a lease together or bought a house, could he or she afford the payments for a while without your income? Even a modest life insurance policy could make it easier for your spouse-to-be to handle the rent or mortgage until he or she can move again.
Who do you want to have the money?
When you signed up for your life insurance, you named someone as your beneficiary because you wanted that person to have the money. Unless you prepaid your funeral arrangements, you probably expect that person to use some of the money to pay for your services and keep the rest for his or her own use.
It's time to re-examine the way that you feel about the situation. If you died right now, would you still want the same person handling your funeral? Would you still want the same person to have the benefit of any leftover money? Your emotional relationship with the person currently listed as your beneficiary may have changed significantly as you and your intended spouse got closer. If you want to make sure that your intended spouse will have the financial means to arrange your funeral if anything should happen to you, why wait?
While you're in the process of changing your designation of beneficiary, consider talking to your life insurance agent about whether or not it's also time to increase your policy to reflect the changes you anticipate with your marriage.