Marriage in the Golden Years

Unmarried couples in their golden years have some unique considerations to navigate if they choose to get married.  Even if your children are grown and out of the house, your blended family may experience power struggles, insecurities, and conflicted feelings, not to mention decisions around inheritances.  No matter what the issues, it is best to be aware of and prepare for it!  Discussions and planning should consider the following challenges and tripwires:

  1. Estate Planning: Be sure to consult your financial planner and estate planning attorney
    1. Unless you designate beneficiaries, 100% of your estate will go to your spouse
    2. Consider retirement accounts, real estate, life insurance- update beneficiaries
    3. House- consider the proper trust
  1. Establish your POA & Healthcare Proxy: The new spouse is next of kin if not designated
  1. Jealousy & resentment: Jealous of time and attention taken away from them or grandkids
    1. Acknowledge the feelings of the adult children
    2. Give your spouse the ability to spend time alone with their children
  1. Conflicted Loyalty Issues: If I like my stepmother, I’m betraying my mother
    1. Understand the resistance is not personal- they didn’t choose the relationship
    2. Reassure that you want to unite the family, and do not mean to replace the parent
    3. Work as a team with your spouse and require that children treat him/her civilly
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