If you are considering marrying later in life you need to answer two questions: “Should you sign a prenuptial agreement?” and “How will getting married affect your Estate?” Not answering these questions may result in family conflicts and lawsuits long after you get sick or pass away. Consider these three situations.
- I worked with a family a few years ago. Their mother Mary fell in love and decided to get married again at the age of 60. She had three children from her prior marriage. Her new husband had two children of his own. Like most people, Mary named her husband as the beneficiary of her IRAs, which is where most of her money was. When she died at age 70, all of her IRAs went into her husband’s IRA. Then later when her husband died, ALL of the funds went to the husband’s children. Mary’s children got nothing…nada…zip.
- We also worked with Fred. Fred married at the age of 72. He felt it was not necessary to have a prenup in place. He would keep his money in separate accounts so that when he died, it would be easy to determine what his children would inherit. But what Fred didn’t realize, is that when he died, the step-mother of Fred’s children had a claim to a portion of Fred’s accounts.
- Sue and Matt found love last year. Sue resisted getting married because she wanted her estate to go to her children when she died. She signed a Pre-Nup and new estate planning documents and was confident she was protecting her estate for her children. Six months after marriage, Matt had a stroke and wound up in a nursing home. Even though Sue’s accounts were “Sue’s and Sue’s only” she was forced by Medicaid to deplete much of her accounts on her husband Matt’s nursing home expenses.
AT LEAST SEVERAL WEEKS BEFORE YOU PUT ON YOUR TUXEDO OR WEDDING DRESS, you must get advised about how to handle a Marriage Contract, and your Estate, so that those closest to you don’t get into a big squabble when you’re gone.
If you are considering getting married again later in life please give me a call 503-850-8345 to learn more about protecting your family.