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Senior marriages and prenups

When older couples get married in Tennessee, they often have financial concerns that younger couples don't. As a result, seniors who enter a "gray marriage" may consider taking legal steps that can protect their financial interests and solidify their estate plans.

Late-in-life marriage presents two significant challenges. The first is protecting the assets of both spouses in case the marriage ends in divorce. Since neither spouse will have the time to rebuild financially, ensuring that both parties are protected is a sound financial move. The second consideration is making sure that children and grandchildren from a previous marriage are provided for in an estate plan.

Prenuptial agreements can be very helpful in addressing both concerns. When an older couple marries, both parties often have significant assets, which may include real estate, savings and retirement accounts. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that if the marriage ends, both parties are able to walk away without significant concern about their respective financial futures.

In the case of estate planning when there are children from a previous marriage, the prenuptial agreement sets out the parameters of any future estate planning. Without the prenuptial agreement, an estate plan could be changed at any time, potentially derailing bequests to children and family members. Unfortunately, disagreements and confusion over estate plans can become particularly unpleasant when a new spouse comes into conflict with his or her stepchildren.

Individuals who are considering getting married may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the situation and make recommendations regarding prenuptial agreements and estate plans that can protect the interests of all parties and reduce possible family tensions.

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