Thinking of marrying after retirement? Read this first

According to recent figures, men are more likely to get married after hitting the age of 80 than they were under the age of 20. As more of us consider marrying later in life, you might just want to make sure you check a few things before you do, including the security of children and inheritance rights.

Here are 3 things to consider to get you started:

1. Pension pay-out
If you’ve married before and your spouse has died, you may be in receipt of your late partner’s pension. If you choose to marry again, the chances are those payments might stop – so if you or your family rely on these payments as your main form of income, you might was to double check the detail contained within the rules of the scheme. Even better, seek some professional advice to see where you stand.

2. Benefits
If you receive pension benefits, or you plan to leave them to someone else after you die, such as final salary pension, it would be wise to check the detail. Some schemes will automatically pay out to your new spouse, but others will be set up to pay the person you were married to when you joined the scheme. If the latter is the case, you’ll need to fill out a nomination of beneficiaries form to redirect payments to your new spouse.

3. Protect your children’s inheritance
Be aware that by remarrying, you may inadvertently disinherit children. You will need to write a new will, for example, as when you remarry it will void any existing one. If you don’t, you’ll be treated as not having a will – so your children may not get what you want them to have, in fact in some circumstances they will get nothing. It is also worth seeking advice relating to what will happen to your new spouse in the event of your death, and in particular in relation to inheritance tax planning for your family. How you structure your assets can have a significant impact on this, so it is essential you get this right.

You also need to think carefully about what would happen if during your lifetime you lack capacity to manage your affairs or make health and welfare decisions. There can be difficult issues and conflicts in families if there are no Lasting Powers of Attorney in place. Is it sensible to appoint your new spouse as attorney, alone or with your child or children? How will that work if decisions need to be made in your best interests?

Downs Solicitors can help if you need to write your will, or change an existing will, make Lasting Powers of Attorney or need your existing documentation reviewed. Downs can also help you plan ahead and manage your affairs, so that your family are protected in the event of your death and your wishes are made clear. Contact us for more information.

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