Last posted at estateplanning.com
A rapidly growing number of Americans are choosing to wed after age 50. If you are one of the many individuals planning a later-in-life marriage, you should include a trip to your estate-planning attorney on the list of things to do before you say “I do.”
What If I Don’t Need To Provide For My New Spouse?
Individuals typically become more financially secure as they age. Therefore, it is common for those entering into later-in-life marriages to not require any financial support from their new spouse. Many later-in-life newlyweds also have children from past marriages that they would like to provide for in their estate plans.
After you are married, however, state law in every state except Georgia makes it impossible to disinherit your spouse without his or her consent. It is therefore important to consider whether you would like your estate plan to provide for your new spouse before your marriage. The best way to gain consent to disinherit your new spouse is through a prenuptial agreement.
I Want My Estate Plan to Provide for My New Spouse, Where do I Begin?
The first step to updating your estate plan to provide for your new spouse is determining what you would like your new spouse to inherit from your estate. You may be able to meet your goals through adding your new spouse as a beneficiary directly in your will, or simply making your new spouse the beneficiary of your insurance or retirement policy.
Even if you do not want your new spouse to be the beneficiary on your insurance, retirement, or other policy, be sure to review and update the beneficiary designations on these policies after your marriage. Often, individuals forget to update their beneficiary designations. This leads to insurance and retirement policies being paid out to unintended beneficiaries, such as an ex-spouse.