“Grey divorce,” a colloquial term for ending a marriage later in life, is on the rise according to recent studies. With these divorces can often come “grey remarriages.” Both present unique problems for the couples adjusting their marital status in middle or older age; most notably, there are usually more assets on the line, including ever-important retirement savings. For those ready to tie the knot again, it could be worth speaking to a North Carolina family lawyer about how a prenuptial agreement could resolve some concerns in a later-in-life union.
Here are some important considerations for those remarrying later in life:
- Inheritance: For those who marry before they have children, estate planning is often straightforward — the spouse inherits property, followed by the children when both pass away. In a remarriage, especially one where there are adult children on both sides, this is a more delicate matter. On one hand, it is often important to make sure a spouse has the money to live after the other party passes away. On the other hand, there could be concerns about what will be left for adult children, or when the inheritance will become available to them.
- Capacity and care: A new spouse may not fully understand what could be involved in the care of their new partner if something would happen — are they prepared to cover the financial and time cost of care, if needed? Discussing these issues and putting expectations and clarifications in writing can be important. It can also relieve children of concerns about what would happen if their parent gets sick, now that they are remarried.
- Retirement savings and pensions: If the couple marrying both worked in their lives, there may be a conversation needed about who will cover what expenses. For example, one party may be on a fixed income but the other may want to travel or live more extravagantly — are they willing to cover the costs of these nicer things? It is also important to put everything on the table when it comes to what is saved for retirement so future planning can be accomplished together.
Legally speaking, the best way to solidify these issues in North Carolina is through a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are a good idea for almost any marrying couple. For those who are marrying later in life, they can play a particularly important role, acting at once as a memory aid, a communication tool with children and the new spouse, and a means of clarifying intentions. To create a prenuptial agreement, the first step is to speak with a family lawyer.