Romantic relationships, as well as marital problems, aren't just for
the young. Older adults often find themselves falling in love and getting
engaged, sometimes after a previous marriage. At the same time, it isn't
entirely unusual for older adults to become dissatisfied with their marriages,
eventually making the decision to divorce. In both cases, older spouses
have a responsibility to consider their unique estate planning issues.
Unique Challenges of Late-in-Life Marriage and Divorce
When people think of newlyweds, a young couple in their 20s or very early
30s often come to mind. When younger people marry, it is usually for the
first time and the spouses typically don't have children from previous
marriages or relationships. In addition, many young people have few assets,
often choosing to buy a home or build wealth after getting married.
When older people get married, these assumptions typically don't apply.
Many have been married before, and often have children. In addition, these
individuals often both bring to the marriage assets in the form of real
estate, investments and retirement accounts. In addition, older adults
may also be responsible for alimony payments to a previous spouse. Making
matters worse, family tensions may arise if adult children from previous
relationships resent the new spouse. All of these factors can complicate
family finances after a marriage takes place.
Estate Planning for New, and Ending, Relationships
Older couples who are considering getting married, or ending a marriage,
will benefit from speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable
estate planning attorney. When couples are beginning married life together, the attorney
can review previous wills and trusts, ensuring that the new spouse is
provided for. In addition, an attorney may be able to assist in working
with current and previous employers to change beneficiaries on insurance
policies, retirement accounts, and
pension plans. Finally, the attorney can also review end of life planning, including
medical powers of attorney, living wills, and advance directives: In most
cases, spouses will want to remove former spouses from these documents,
giving the right to make end-of-life decisions to an adult child, a close
family member, or a new spouse.
If you are concerned about late-in-life estate planning after a change
in marital status,
contact us today to set up a consultation.
The Verblio Team