Greying Love: Never Too Old for Love to Strike Again

Roscich & Martell Law Firm, LLC

After a spouse has passed away, the widow(er) may feel that he or she will never find love again. And then suddenly, love strikes when least expected.

As our lifetimes lengthen and we are living longer and healthier lives, the possibility of a second chance at love after a departed spouse has become less unusual. According to an article in Psychology Today, later-in-life marriages tend to be more successful than couples who remarry before the age of 50 for a variety of reasons. First, the children of each individual are adults at this point and do not require the same financial and emotional maintenance that non-adult children would require. In addition, each individual in an elderly couple has accumulated savings throughout his/her lifetime, and is financially in a position to be wed. Finally, an elderly couple that meets and comes together later in life has a foundation in friendship and companionship, and those within choose their partners based on shared interests and commonalities. What to Consider Before Saying “I Do” Though the number of older Americans who are finding love later in life has been increasing, marriage of these individuals has been stunted due largely to the fear of what a remarriage would mean financially and legally for the couple; the legal and financial ramifications become more difficult when there are children and grandchildren involved, and when the individuals are receiving survivor benefits from the first marriage to the deceased spouse, to name a few. According to an article written in Investopedia, elderly couples considering later-in-life marriages must consider quite a few things when deciding whether to remarry. The following are things an elderly couple should evaluate and discuss before saying “I do”: Finances and Financial Obligations Older couples have accumulated more in separate assets (assets that have accrued either from a previous marriage or due to their own earning capacity throughout their lifetime). Each individual should review each other's credit reports and assess the types of financial liabilities for which each individual is responsible, such as spousal maintenance payments (in the case of a previous marriage where the ex-spouse is not deceased), and child support if there are children who are not over the age of 18. Estate Planning It is important for an elderly couple to evaluate their properties and assets and readjust a will to ensure that assets are divided appropriately upon death. Many times it makes sense for elderly couples to write up a prenuptial agreement, especially if each individual would like their separate property to remain within the first family. Social Security and Medicaid Depending on age, remarrying may complicate problems with a widow(er)'s benefits received from a pension fund. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, a widow(er)'s benefit might terminate if the widow(er) remarries before the age of 60 (in the case of a disability, the age would be 50). In addition, Medicaid could also be terminated if the covered individual marries someone who is making a higher income. Experienced Naperville Family Law Attorneys These are just a few of the financial and legal ramifications to be considered when deciding when or whether to marry later in life. Our experienced, Naperville attorneys can help you and your significant other weigh your options with regards to cohabitation or marriage and whether a prenuptial agreement (or any other necessary documents) should be executed. Please contact us today for a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.
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