Monday, February 10, 2014

Love in the Golden Years: Pre-Marital Agreements and Updating Estate Plans

Love is in the Air:

Finding love at any age is a beautiful thing.  Finding love late in life can be a renewal for some couples, but create uncertainty for adult children and grandchildren.  Many older couples are entering assisted living facilities together or finding love once they arrive at assisted living facilities, as mentioned in this related article about romance in assisted living communities.    Older couples should consider entering into a pre-marital agreement and updating their individual estate plans if they plan to marry in their golden years. 

Pre-Marital Agreements

A pre-marital agreement would help the couple establish which property belongs to which person and how assets, money or bank accounts should be allocated.  While many older generations may be hesitant to enter into such an agreement, using this as a document to define exactly what property exists will be helpful as an estate planning tool and a road map for the families of the couple in the event one person dies or becomes incapacitated and cannot communicate what assets exist. 

Updating Estate Planning Documents

Of course, estate planning documents--wills, powers of attorney, and directives to physician--should be reviewed and updated to reflect who holds the powers of attorney and how a person's estate should be distributed upon their passing.  Many people create estate planning documents when their children are born and seldom update their estate planning documents before they reach their elder years.  By this time, a spouse may have passed away or entered various stages of dementia and be unable to communicate their wishes.  Encouraging our older generations to define their wishes in estate planning documents will grant peace of mind to our elders and their children and grandchildren alike. 
For more information or to discuss your estate planning needs, contact me to schedule a conference.

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