Finding love in life is a great feeling, no matter your age. However, just like there are considerations for a 25-year-old to make prior to marriage, there are also important decisions someone 50 or older also needs to consider before walking down the aisle. In this blog post, we hope to provide some basic information on the importance of having a prenuptial agreement and finalizing estate plans before getting married.
Prenuptial agreement: Protect your children's assets
Those who are 50 or older tend to be better established in life. Going into a marriage, there may be significant assets already, such as a home, retirement accounts and investments. The thing is, unless a prenuptial agreement specifically spells out the terms of how to divide assets in the event of a divorce, you run the risk of an ex-spouse getting the assets you intended for yourself, along with the ones you were hoping to one day leave to your children and grandchildren.
Sadly, there are many myths when it comes to prenuptial agreements. However, the truth is that a prenuptial agreement is not divorce planning. Rather, it is smart financial planning and can even further strengthen the bond between a soon-to-be married couple, as it forces each spouse to talk about finances and what is important to them. By sitting down and having an honest and frank conversation about assets and future inheritances now, it helps avoid surprises later on down the road.
Estate planning: Protect your assets and your healthcare decisions
You may already have estate plans in place. However, if you are getting married, you will want to update these plans to include protections to make sure that what you plan on leaving your adult children, stays with your children and not your new spouse in the event of your passing.
This is also where having an estate planning attorney comes in handy, as you can tailor your estate plans to meet whatever arrangement you want. Do you want to provide for your children, grandchildren and stepchildren? That is possible. On the other hand, maybe you want to just keep your assets on your side of the family. This is also possible. Or, do you want some type of split that is based on your partner's age and how long you have been married? Again, this is all possible, but you will want to work with an attorney to create your estate plans.
Keep in mind, that estate planning also goes beyond just how to divide assets, as you will want to include information regarding medical power of attorney. Your spouse simply knowing your wishes if you are incapacitated are not enough. Rather, you want to document any healthcare wishes now.