Q: We’ve already gotten checks as gifts—and some of them are in my married name. I won’t be changing it until we return from the honeymoon. Do we have to wait until then to deposit them?
A: “Before the wedding, choose a bank that you’re both comfortable with and open up a joint checking account,” says Beth D’Andrea, a Malvern financial planner specializing in life events. You’ll have to open this in your maiden name, she says, but tell them that your wedding is coming up and that the name on the account will be changing: “When checks come in, you can sign them once with your maiden name and then again with your married name, even though it’s not official yet.” (Just remember that if it’s made out to both of you, you both have to sign it.) Bring the bank your marriage license when you return, and you’ll be on your way to building your joint financial future.