Mid Life and Late Life Remarriage: 3 Reasons why you should have a Marriage Agreement
When two people find love after a divorce or a death of a spouse, their excitement about the new relationship is not always shared by their family members. Mid or late life remarriage requires different considerations than the marriage between young adults. The same is true for people that re-partner in mid or late life, regardless of whether the parties legally marry.
1. Plan for Success
While a marriage agreement sets out what would happen upon the breakdown of a relationship, it also stipulates what will happen to each spouse’s estate if they are together ‘until death do them part’. These agreements allow for spouses to leave gifts for each other in their wills, but commonly include a waiver where both agree not to contest each other’s wills or make a claim against the estate of the other.
2. Protect your Assets
Whether the parties have similar financial circumstances or different levels of wealth, an agreement allows them to predetermine the division of assets should separation occur. When parties have worked hard to build their portfolios and equity, they want to ensure that they are the ones to decide how their assets are handled if a relationship breakdown occurs. These agreements can list assets which will be excluded from the division between the parties, and may include a method to determine how other assets acquired during the relationship will be divided. The preparation of the agreement also prompts parties to consider whether or not spousal support should be paid upon separation, and may even determine amounts and duration of spousal support in advance.
3. Peace of Mind for Family
When parents remarry or recouple later in life, their children and other family members are often concerned about the financial implications of the union on their parent. At times they question the new partner’s intentions in the relationship, but in any event, most want their parents to maintain the financial security they had prior to the relationship. In addition, family members commonly question whether their share of their parent’s estate will be diminished as a result of the relationship. In these cases, knowing that their parent has considered and planned for these events allows their family to have some certainty about their parent’s estate plan. In turn, the family may then feel free to be supportive of the relationship absent financial concerns.
© Linley Welwood LLP. The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice. Readers should seek legal advice in relation to their own specific circumstances.