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Late-in-Life Marriage, Divorce, and Estate Plans

Late-in-Life Marriage, Divorce, and Estate Plans

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

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