Americans are living longer, but our marriages aren’t as lasting. Although divorce rates have begun to decline, the rate among couples over fifty has more than doubled in the last thirty years. Among these couples, over 55% separated from long-term marriages lasting more than twenty-years. With approximately one in every four divorces occurring among couples over the age of fifty, it’s important to understand how a “gray divorce” impacts your retirement plans/the disadvantages of a late-blooming divorce.
The reasons for divorcing are unique to each couple, but the changes that come from a late-blooming divorce are the same. Your retirement plans may be effected by a gray divorce. It’s important to understanding how your monthly income will change and how that will influence your retirement goals. A shortened income may force you back into the work force or to adjust your lifestyle in order to live comfortably in retirement. Additionally, certain estate planning documents will need to be changed as a result of your divorce.
Insurance policies, a Will or Powers of Attorney (health and general) that benefit the other spouse or name the other spouse as the executor will need to be changed. For example, consider whether you still want your soon-to-be-ex-spouse holding powers granted in a health care or general power of attorney—these are powers that grant the authority to make decisions regarding your health and financials on your behalf to your ex-spouse—especially if life or death decisions are at stake. A pre-existing Estate Plan can affect a property settlement agreement. If you previously set up a trust, this document can limit what you can do with certain property during a divorce. You should review and revise your Will and Estate Plans with an attorney to make sure it aligns with your wishes and your divorce agreement.
Whether you are planning in advance or currently facing a gray divorce, the Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC is here to help.
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