Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple than for a young couple just starting out. Before making this decision, you should consider consulting your elder law attorney to review your situation, including the following:
Getting married can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if you exclude your new spouse in your will, he or she is permitted to take an elective share against your estate (usually one-third). One way to prevent this from happening is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement before your marriage.
A prenuptial agreement usually will not preclude a spouse from being responsible for your long-term care costs. Getting married can affect your eligibility for Medicaid. You may want to consider the purchase of a long-term care insurance policy which may be a good investment. Learn more about the costs of long-term care here.
The Family Home
Whether you are getting married or just living together, you need to think about the house once the owner dies. If you are the owner, what happens to the house when you die? If you are not the owner, what will be your living arrangements after the owner dies?
Many divorced and widowed seniors receive Social Security from their former spouses, and remarriage can affect their benefits. Would that create a hardship for you?
If you are receiving alimony from a divorced spouse, it will likely end once you remarry and depending on your settlement, alimony may end if you simply live with someone else.
College Financial Aid
If you have a child in college and you get married, the new spouse’s income could affect the amount of financial aid the student receives.
If you would like to learn more about how some of these issues could affect you personally, please Contact Us to speak with our elder law attorneys.