Marriage in Later Life
The number of people marrying over the age of 65 has increased dramatically. What can be done to protect their extended families and a lifetime of assets?
The Office for National Statistics has shown a huge leap in the number of people marrying over the age of 65 in the last decade.
What follows is that those people are more likely to have children from previous relationships to which they wish to leave the assets that they have built up over their lifetime, or inherited. They therefore have much more to protect going into a new marriage. Such assets could include property, savings, business interests and significant pension pots to name but a few.
Without proper safeguarding those substantial assets could end up being depleted significantly through a divorce settlement or pass to the wrong people on death.
Fortunately, there are different ways that you can ring fence and protect those assets for your children and, or family members.
Marriage automatically revokes a Will so it is important that you arrange for a new Will to be drafted before the big day. The Will is specially drafted to be made in contemplation of marriage and therefore is not revoked on marriage.
If you fail to do this, and any previous Will is revoked by marriage, then the rules of intestacy dictate who inherits your estate. This could mean everything you have passes to your new spouse leaving your children with nothing and any other wishes unfulfilled.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a bespoke agreement drawn up in advance of marriage and sets out how certain assets are to be allocated in the event of a divorce. Assets can therefore be set aside, and ring fenced specifically for your children and family members.
A host of factors can be considered, such as any income, savings, pensions and the ability to live independently.
A Post-Nuptial Agreement is a similar agreement, but which is drawn up during marriage, so if you decide that such an agreement is required after marriage all is not lost however it could make for an awkward conversation after the big day.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs is another method of safeguarding your assets. You can appoint your children along with your spouse or another relative or a trusted friend to become your Attorney(s) who will be in control of making any decisions about your finances in the event that you are no longer able to do so whether this be due to physical incapacity or due to mental incapacity.
Considering entering into a Nuptial Agreement, re-drafting your Will, or making a decision about registering a Lasting Power of Attorney can be seen as unromantic, superfluous and an added expense. Doing so however could save you thousands and also help to protect your assets and your wider family and ensure your wishes prevail if your new marriage does not succeed, or upon your death.
When you have more to lose, you should do more to protect it.
For more information please speak to a member of our Family or Wills & Probate Team. We are used to dealing with these issues and will handle them with the delicacy and tact needed to avoid spoiling your special day.