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Do you need a prenup for a later-in-life marriage?

You’re probably heard a lot about “gray divorce” in recent years, referring to when couples over 50 get divorced, often after decades of marriage. Along with gray divorce comes “gray marriage,” when older people get married in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.

In a lot of cases, both spouses come into these marriages with financial security. They may both be retired with good pensions. The kids may be grown and on their own. The house may be paid off.

The assumption may be that if the marriage breaks up, they’re each no worse for the wear and will leave the marriage with what they brought into it. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still consider a prenuptial agreement for these late-in-life marriages.

For one thing, a pre-nup may be a way of balancing your loyalty to your children from a previous marriage with concerns about ensuring your new spouse is taken care of should anything happen to you.

Without a pre-nup, an estate plan can be changed at any time for any reason, giving both your kids and your new spouse a level of insecurity. With a pre-nup, however, you can split up your estate between your new spouse and your kids in the most appropriate way possible.

A pre-nup also is a useful way to deal with retirement assets. This is especially relevant because later in life, you’re more likely to be using these assets. You can decide in a prenuptial agreement which assets you’ll use as a couple to support yourself and work out how to divide up retirement accounts between a surviving spouse and a deceased spouse’s kids from a prior marriage.

There are a lot of other potential benefits to considering a pre-nup for a gray marriage. Talk to a family lawyer where you live to find out more.


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