What are the legal and financial implications of marriage later in life?

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Remarriages between divorced people are a common occurrence, and ought to be happily so.  But have all the ramifications been considered? It could be that the best course of action for those who fall in love later in life is to avoid wedding bells. Why? Because such nuptials could lead to financial issues that have wider family implications, as a recent article in the Daily Mail suggests.

If you marry your partner it may complicate who gets what from your estate when you die, which can be problematic for children from a previous relationship. Property, pensions, cash could all be subject to wrangling if you decide to tie the knot. It may sound like just about the most unromantic you’ve ever heard, but it’s definitely a relevant consideration.

Middle-age remarriages are booming, the latest figures show record numbers of weddings in this quartile. One of the reasons for such marriages could be financial. In many cases, remarriage confers an automatic right to the spouse’s pension income after they die. And unless clearly set out in a Will, the same goes for property and investment income.

Another incentive is that husbands and wives can inherit without paying inheritance tax, as nothing passed between spouses is included when the estate is tallied up. The matter becomes complicated when children from earlier relationships are beneficiaries, as then inheritance tax can kick in.

This may not be an altogether comfortable topic on the wedding list, but – like the boom in popularity of entirely unromantic prenuptial, and cohabitation agreements – if you were considering remarrying and were worried about the legal or financial implications, sound legal advice would be recommended.

Image by philhearing used under CC licence.