Remarrying as a Senior Citizen
Many seniors choose to remarry, these days. With people living longer, and retirement communities becoming a popular option for those who do not need long-term care, many elderly individuals are choosing to marry in their golden years. But getting remarried late in life can create complicated situations with your estate plan, long-term care, pension, and insurance policies. It can be a good idea to speak with your financial advisor or estate attorney before making the decision to get married once more.
Wills and Other Estate Planning Documents
When you choose to marry someone, your estate plans will be affected. Even if you want to leave everything to your children, your spouse may be entitled to at least some of your estate by law. If your new spouse has children, you may want to change your plans to include them, as well. On the other hand, you may need to alter your estate plan so that only your heirs are benefactors.
Furthermore, your spouse may have assets that will now become shared by both of you. It is important for both spouses to alter their estate plans accordingly. You will need to speak with your elder law attorney and alter your estate plan for your marriage.
Long-Term Plans and Your New Marriage
The cost of nursing homes, live-in aides, and other long-term care options can be a major part of your financial plan. Even if you or your new spouse don’t need long-term care now, it is very likely to change. Marriage alters the amount of your household income. This may not always alter how your long-term care insurance works, or if you are able to pay for it yourself. However, marriage can alter your ability to collect Medicaid. The Medicaid agency will look into the finances of both your and your new spouse's finances to determine whether or not you are able to collect or continue collecting it. This can affect what facilities you are eligible to enter, and how future care requirements may affect the other spouse’s finances.
Social Security and Pension
Social Security benefits are usually a major aspect of any retirement plan. Divorced or widowed spouses generally receive benefits based on the record of their ex-spouse. However, remarrying will terminate these benefits. Remarriage before age 60 – or age 50 if one is disabled – will terminate the survivor’s benefits.
Pensions have different rules than social security benefits, but a new marriage can still affect them nonetheless. Widows and widowers who receive their deceased spouse’s pension may lose it upon entering a new marriage. This will depend on the circumstances laid out in the terms of the pension.
Speak with Your Estate Attorney and/or Financial Advisor
As with any marriage, you should discuss your financial situation with your estate lawyer or financial advisor first. Both you and your new spouse should work together with your financial advisory team to ensure that your affairs are properly in order before making this decision. Additionally, they may be able to tell you if this decision will leave the two of you in a worse position financially, as it can affect late-in-life sources of income. Pre-nuptial agreements can also help establish estate plans before the marriage. Planning out your future estate plan post-marriage is essential, especially if it can alter your long-term care plans.
Matthew Funeral Home does not provide legal or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal or financial advice.
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