Does the adage, “older but wiser” apply to the fact that those over the age of 65 choosing to live together rather than marry has doubled in the U.S. in the past 10 years? It probably does for those who have gone through a divorce and experienced the pain that their finances have suffered.
Today, seniors who decide not to marry do so for a number of reasons, but chief among them is their concern about their personal assets. Those over the age of 65 have accumulated more wealth than their younger counterparts. They are worried about losing important benefits, such as part of a former spouse’s pension or Social Security benefits. They may feel they are jeopardizing their children’s inheritance.
But even taking all of this into consideration, there is a way to alleviate these worries and still allow you to walk down the aisle a second time with peace of mind over your own finances. It’s called a prenuptial agreement, and far from being unromantic, it actually provides seniors with the freedom to marry again while protecting personal assets.
Today, a prenup is not just used to plan for divorce; it is also used to plan for the death of a spouse — a big consideration for those marrying again late in life. This is especially important for those going into a second or third marriage that have children from prior marriages. Even if you keep your assets separate from your new spouse and don’t add to those assets during your marriage, your children may still not receive the inheritance you wanted to leave for them unless you take the proper steps to protect those assets.
Under New Jersey law, a spouse cannot be disinherited unless he or she consents to it. If a spouse is disinherited, he or she can petition the court for their elective share of the deceased spouse’s estate, which is roughly one-third of the entire estate. A prenup can be used to provide a right of election waiver, saving your assets for your chosen heirs.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.