Late-life marriages are complicated for a variety of reasons. Here’s what planners need to consider.
A personal financial planner must first address whether he or she can provide advice to both spouses—or future spouses—in instances where their interests may conflict. This is especially true when one individual has more assets and/or income than the other. Next, planning questions need to be answered regarding whom the assets are intended to benefit.
- Is it the new spouse? Children from a prior marriage? Or does the client want them to be devoted to maintaining the couple’s current lifestyle?
- Should the budget be revised to include long-term care insurance? Medical costs? Costs of care at home?
- Should income be blended or separate? Are assets combined or separate?
- What about the primary residence? Whose name is it in? How is it to be disposed of at death? What if the couple divorce? What if one of them becomes ill? What if they purchase a new home together? What if one sells a home and moves into the other spouse’s home? If one spouse dies, what rights does the surviving spouse have?
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