If you are a widow or widower, meeting a new partner after the death of a spouse can bring a mixed bag of emotions. Having a refreshed sense of hope about the future in the wake of a major loss may even feel exciting and invigorating. However, as unromantic as it might seem, it is important to remain aware of the financial risks of remarriage.
Unfortunately, many widows fall victim to situations in which their new spouses are financially irresponsible at best or have unsavory intentions at worst. It is also possible that remarriage may result in the termination of some benefits the widow receives. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from unfortunate financial possibilities if you are considering remarriage.
Reviewing Beneficiary Designations
It's important to review all the beneficiary designations in your will so that you can ensure that your assets pass to those who you intend to be the recipients. If you remarry and die without a will, the law may require a certain percentage of your estate to pass to your new spouse. Speaking with an estate planning attorney can help you make the arrangements that are necessary to ensure that your wishes are honored.
Considering Survivor Benefits
If you are a widow or widower under the age of 60, you may lose any survivor benefits that are based on your deceased spouse's earnings if you get remarried. The same may also be true of any Social Security benefits. Speak to your attorney, who can help you determine whether remarrying will put you in a less stable financial position than you are currently in.
Appointing Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney gives an individual the capacity to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapable of making such decisions on your own. It is common for spouses to appoint each other, so you must update this document if you have not done so since your former spouse died. It may be a good idea to appoint someone who has already earned your trust over several years, rather than defaulting automatically to your new spouse if you remarry.
Inquire about Your New Partner's Health Care Plan
If you decide to remarry, you may end up being financially responsible for your new spouse's long-term medical care. This could take a significant financial toll if they do not have a health care plan, particularly if they develop a chronic disease or are admitted to a nursing home. Be sure in advance that your partner's health care situation will not deplete your estate.
Speak to a College Station Estate Planning Attorney
There are plenty of advantages to remarriage in addition to the obvious companionship you will once again have. You'll also enjoy reduced taxes and benefit from shared assets and costs.
However, it is important to be careful. Speaking to an experienced College Station estate planning attorney can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself. They will also be able to point out any areas of concern that are specific to your particular situation. They can help you feel empowered about planning for the rest of your future, knowing that you will be able to maintain the security you deserve. If you have questions or need assistance getting started, contact our law firm at 979-703-7014 to schedule a consultation.