Marriage at any age has its challenges.
You are getting married.
Love is a wonderful thing.
But you should not walk blindly into your nuptials.
As I always tell clients who are remarrying - love may be blind, but you should remarry with both eyes open.
Marriage after age 50 will impact several aspects of your life—especially if you were previously married with children, according to a recent article in Forbes titled “6 Money Myths About Marrying After 50.”
What does the venerable Forbes suggest?
This tool is not just for wealthy individuals seeking to protect their assets in case of a divorce.
Instead, it can be a useful estate planning tool.
If you have children from a previous marriage, you can protect the assets you want to leave to them.
With a prenup these allocated funds will go to your heirs rather than to your new spouse and his or her children.
Involve your step-family in your estate planning.
Whether you plan to leave money to your new spouse and step-children or just your biological children, communicating your wishes is beneficial.
Listen to the concerns of your children.
Explain the reasons for your estate planning decisions.
Do not keep your loved ones in the dark.
Consider keeping assets separate.
Regardless whether you keep all assets separate, you should decide this before you get married.
This is especially important with assets like a home.
If one or both of you moves, how will your house be titled.
Will the deed include one or both of your names?
Is your new spouse bringing any debt to the marriage?
Does your new spouse have student loans?
Does he or she have credit card debt?
This can affect your finances as well.
Talk about the elephant in the room.
Make a plan on how to pay this down.
Think about whether marriage makes sense.
Are you marrying simply to have a companion?
Did you know marriage could negatively impact your finances?
If you did not work while you were first married and have higher spousal benefits than you will get from your current work, you could take a hit on Social Security.
Is you new partner ill or on Medicaid?
If so, your added income could disqualify your loved one from benefits.
Not only that, but your assets will be on the table to pay for his or her long-term care.
This does not mean you should not get married.
But you should be aware of the impact it may have on you financially.
Name who will make medical decisions on your behalf.
Your spouse will not be able to make health care decisions for you just because you are married.
Would you like to avoid your children and new spouse fighting over what is best for you?
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to get an advanced health care directive.
Also, talk with your loved ones so they know you wishes.
Communication is key when it comes to estate planning.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Forbes (February 13, 2017) “6 Money Myths About Marrying After 50”