Although there are several things that get easier with age, “later-in-life” marriage isn’t exactly one of them. Marrying later on in your years can bring some unique challenges when it comes to financial plans and legal matters.
If you’re no stranger to the game, then some of the later-in-life marriage challenges will be familiar, others less so. For example, do any of these issues have a familiar ring: Will we have separate accounts or joint accounts? Is it better to file individually or file jointly? Shall we live in your house or mine?
This subject was discussed in a recent MarketWatch article titled “Marrying after 50? Tackle these money issues first.”
Essentially, young married couples simply don’t have as many accounts, assets, liabilities, health concerns, dependents, or complex family relationships. For them, marriage might be as simple as saying “I do.” But now that you’ve got all of that stuff and your own lifelong relationships, things can get doubly complicated when you add the stuff and lifelong relationships of your later-in-life spouse.
If you haven’t thought through the potential challenges, here are just a few to get you started:
- Social Security and pension benefits
- Healthcare, health needs, and Medicare benefits
- Past marriages and alimony
- Children and college financial planning
- Your estates, your heirs, and your beneficiaries
The article discusses each of these points in some depth, so I won't repeat that here. But the key takeaway is that the issues that arise with later in life marriages are often complex and usually intertwined. Ideally, most of these issues will be addressed before you say "I do." But even if you've already wed, it's never too late get organized and put your affairs in the proper order.
Just remember that when making your financial, tax and estate plans, it's best to to consult with competent professional counsel rather than try to go it alone. There's simply too much at stake to risk not getting it right.
For more information or for answers to your questions about estate planning issues affecting people marrying later in life or blending families, contact us at Peak Legal Group.
Reference: MarketWatch (Feb. 27, 2013) “Marrying after 50? Tackle these money issues first”