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Wills and estate planning

Helpful estate planning tips for newlywed seniors

As a senior adult planning a trip down the aisle, it's important to understand the value of creating an estate plan that ultimately fulfills your wishes and obligations.

Tying the knot as an older adult can mean more than just a trip to the altar. For some, marriage later in life involves a blending of families that merges adult children as well as substantial assets that may have taken you most of your lifetime to accumulate. For these reasons and others, it can be important to put serious thought and effort into creating an estate plan that coincides with your wishes and meets your objectives.

If you're a senior who is hearing wedding bells, then you may want to keep reading. The following is a basic shortlist of estate planning tips that may be helpful when putting together a solid plan with your new spouse.

Make your intentions known

Even before you head down the aisle, it can be important that the two of you discuss critical financial issues as a couple. By doing so, everything is out on the table and there are no unintended surprises down the road. It may not be the most romantic thing to do prior to your wedding, but it can be an important first step in the estate planning process.

Inventory your assets

Savings accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, commercial and personal real estate, family heirlooms, etc. should probably be inventoried by both of you. Developing a complete list can make it much easier for you both to decide which assets will be combined jointly or kept separate, and how certain things will be divided among your adult children and grandchildren after you're gone.

Make end-of-life decisions

It's not easy to discuss end-of-life intentions at such a happy time in your life. However, by doing so now, you may be able to avoid conflict and complications that may arise in the future.

Update critical documents

Be sure that your will, life insurance policies, and other important financial documents reflect your new situation and include updated beneficiary designations if necessary. Anything that predates your new marriage might not provide your surviving spouse with the financial support that he or she needs.

Set up a trust

A trust can be an effective way to direct assets from a previous marriage and to ensure they are passed on to your beneficiaries as you would want. Work with a qualified estate planning attorney who can help you set one up.

Discuss a prenuptial agreement

While this document isn't typically part of an estate plan, it can be a helpful tool for clarifying certain financial issues. As noted in the first tip, it's better to get certain things out in the open before saying “I do,” and a prenuptial agreement is one of them.

We hope these tips for estate planning for newlyweds seniors may help you start your marriage out on the right foot. For more estate planning basics, as well as ways to use life insurance in estate planning, visit the Protective Learning Center.



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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective or its subsidiaries.

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