Friday, May 08, 2009

How To Give Money To Newlyweds


I just got married, and received a bunch of gifts, so I want to give some advice to people about how to give the newlyweds money.

Of course cold cash is great, but most people prefer to write a check.  

Let's imagine John Haigh and Tamara Maitee just got married. The best thing to do is to write the check to "John Haigh or Tamara Maitee."

Here are some bad ways to do it and reasons:
  1. "John Haigh and Tamara Maitee" requires that they create a new bank account so that the check can be deposited. You don't know if they want to do this. They might want to keep separate checking accounts. You might be causing them a hassle by writing it this way. By writing "or" as I suggest, it can be deposited into either person's account as well as a joint account should they choose to get one. 
  2. "John Haigh" is not so bad, but if for whatever reason they want to deposit the check into Tamara's account, they can't.
  3. "John and Tamara Haigh" is problematic because she might not change her name. They might want to remain Haigh and Maitee. Also, even if she does, the check can't be deposited until the bank takes care of the name change. Hassle. 
These problems didn't really apply to us-- we have joint checking and Vanessa changed her name.  Just some advice for the future. All of the checks we got were examples of 1, 2, or 3, so I figure people should know about this.

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