People who are at or near retirement age are getting remarried more often than ever before. Most elder advocates think it is a wonderful thing that people are finding love and comfort late in their lives.
However, there is a potential problem.
Not enough older people getting remarried are properly planning for what doing so will mean for their families and estates. Without proper planning things can quickly go awry as New Hampshire Magazine reports in "Navigating Late-Life Remarriage."
The biggest problem is that people do not take the time to consider what a second marriage might mean for their children's ability to receive an inheritance. Children from an earlier marriage can be left out of an estate entirely without planning.
By default, a person's entire estate goes to a living spouse. It cannot be assumed that the spouse will make plans to leave anything inherited for stepchildren in his or her estate. There is no legal obligation for the spouse to do so and the law will not give the money to those children if the spouse passes away without an estate plan.
This, of course, does not mean that someone should not get remarried late in life. It just means that some planning needs to take place before doing so.
Before getting remarried visit an estate planning attorney who can assist with the proper legal plans to make sure your children are protected.
Reference: New Hampshire Magazine (Dec. 2016) "Navigating Late-Life Remarriage."