As longevity increases, a greater number of older adults – the 50 plus crowd that is – are considering tying the knot. For people who have spent a lifetime accumulating wealth such as real estate, pensions, stocks, IRAs and the like – a new marriage may signal a need for a prenuptial agreement.
Sometimes people marrying later in life are divorced, separated or widowed and have a family to consider. Even though your family wants the best for you, they may feel threatened by a parent’s or grandparent’s new relationship. Family members may worry that their elderly parent will become financially responsible for someone else’s continued care or assisted living – a costly endeavor. They may wonder what will happen to a parent’s assets in the event of a divorce. With a new spouse in the mix, your family may uneasy about a reduction or delay of inheritance.
A prenuptial agreement may be the answer to alleviate many family concerns. An agreement can include details regarding who will be responsible for paying certain costs and a waiver to the right to inherit a spouse’s property. The prenuptial can clarify the rights and expectations of the parties in the event of divorce or death. Such an agreement can ease tensions with adult children and will go along way in reducing friction between a surviving spouse and step-children.
Prenuptial laws are fairly consistent from state to state. Generally speaking, each party will need to secure independent legal counsel and provide a full disclosure of assets, debt and income. Although you and your spouse may agree on certain financial issues in the agreement, there may be legal considerations that override your intentions, particularly with regard to assisted care living or nursing home costs. For couples of advancing age considering marriage, it is important gain a thorough understanding of your financial future and agree to a plan of action, which may include a prenuptial agreement.
If you have questions regarding Illinois premarital agreements contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell for help. We have over 30 years of experience helping Illinois clients with family law issues including prenuptial agreements, complex divorce, Illinois marital asset division and more.
Source: Forbes, “Prenups, I Do or Don’t at Any Age”, by Neal Godfry, August 30, 2015.