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Love and Marriage in Your Second Act: 5 Tips to Prepare for Remarriage
December 1, 2022
Morgan T. Dilks
As the baby boomer population continues to age gracefully, the median age of the population of the United States has never been higher and life expectancy has never been greater. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. An interesting side effect of these positive trends is that more people living past middle age are getting remarried.
Marriages later in life can sometimes lead to legal complications that may not be factors for marriages between younger individuals, such as the presence of adult children and a greater net worth after a lifetime of hard work.
While such marriages are certainly a cause for celebration, it is important to understand the effects that a later-in-life marriage can have on your family and your assets. Here are five things to consider if you are thinking about getting remarried:
A Prenuptial Agreement. A fair number of second marriages end in divorce. It is certainly uncomfortable to contemplate the possibility of a failed marriage during the honeymoon phase. Unfortunately, there is no hiding from the statistical reality that many people who didn’t plan ahead will wish that they had.
Keep Separate Bank Accounts. In the event that the marriage doesn’t workout, having your income separated into different accounts allows an easier distribution of marital (and non-marital) property.
Benefits. Consider the effects a marriage could have on your benefits. Marriage can impact eligibility for workplace health plans, pension plans, and government benefits, such as Medicaid.
Appoint a Professional Fiduciary. It’s fairly common to appoint an adult child as a power of attorney or an executor of your estate. However, when families blend later in life, it can be important to have an independent, disinterested party available to ensure all important decisions are carried out according to your wishes.
Update Your Will. At the end of life, you want to know that you have left everything well-organized and in such a way that your family will get along peacefully well into the future. A great step toward that goal is clearly defining your wishes, and having your wishes updated to account for the changes in your life as a result of your expanded family.
If you find yourself in the fortunate position of meeting the right person later in life, and you have questions about how to best protect your assets and your family’s future, we’re here to help.