When we talk about estate planning with clients, the topic of prenuptial agreements is one that is coming up more frequently. Whether it’s for themselves as they prepare for a second marriage or for adult children who stand to inherit a sizable estate in the future, clients wonder if this is a document they should incorporate into their plan.
A recent article by the Wall Street Journal looked at the trends in marriage and divorce among various age groups. According to WSJ, the rate of “gray divorces” (age 55+) has more than doubled from 1990 to 2017. Many of these individuals realize they do not want the same thing as their partner in retirement and decide to part ways. This has led to an increase in second marriages later in life. Second marriages can also create unique estate planning scenarios, given the wealth already accumulated and possibility of blended families.
If you’re one of the growing number of individuals approaching a second marriage, we recommend consulting an estate planning attorney to discuss incorporating a prenuptial agreement to ensure you have the proper plan in place to provide for your children and your new spouse at your death.
It also may be appropriate to recommend a prenuptial agreement to your adult children planning for marriage. The same Wall Street Journal article shared that in 1963, the average woman married at around age 20. By 2017, the median age at marriage was 27 for women and 29 for men. At this stage in life, many of these young adults have started to accumulate their own wealth (retirement plans, homes, etc.) in addition to any wealth they may inherit from their family in the future. While it may not be a popular topic to broach when your child announces they are engaged, we recommend talking with them about their estate plan and discussing getting a prenuptial agreement in place. Often, this is an easier conversation for the financial professional or attorney to have with the young adult at the parent’s request.
If you have questions about your estate plan or whether a prenuptial agreement is appropriate for you, please contact your JNBA Advisory Team today to discuss these questions further.
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