More senior citizens are divorcing their spouses than in previous generations. That leads to some estate planning complications.
It used to be that once people entered retirement age, it was extremely rare for them to seek a divorce. That is no longer the case.
Elderly people are getting divorced today at an increasing rate. These so called “gray divorces”, can present unique legal challenges.
They can be difficult enough for divorce attorneys who must sort through and divide a lifetime’s worth of accumulated marital property. However, they also present challenges in estate planning.
The Indiana Lawyer recently discussed these problems in “Rise in divorces among older couples presents unique family law issues.”
The big issue in estate planning is that plans are often already in place for the couple’s estates.
These plans are normally drafted in unison with the understanding that when the first spouse passes away, the surviving spouse will receive the bulk of the estate. When the second spouse passes away, then the estate will go to the agreed upon heirs.
These plans need to be undone when the couple divorces. This can be difficult to do, unless estate planning attorneys are hired who have the expertise to wrap up legal entities that are no longer needed and might be a hindrance.
There are many difficulties associated with gray divorces and you may want to try to reconcile.
Be sure to consult with an estate planning attorney who can explain these difficulties to you, sooner rather than later.
Reference: Indiana Lawyer (July 26, 2017) “Rise in divorces among older couples presents unique family law issues.”