Not surprisingly, remarriage is more common among older individuals. According to one study, two-thirds of people in the 55-to-64-year-old age group have remarried. For couples walking down the aisle again in California, financial matters can present some unique challenges and potential sources of conflict.
When remarrying, people typically come into the union with more assets than they had during their first exchange of “I dos.” They may also have leftover financial baggage. Adult or near-adult children from a prior relationship can further complicate matters. In a situation like this, someone who is remarrying may benefit from both a prenup and a postnup. A well-structured prenuptial agreement allows a person who is remarrying to set aside certain assets for their children while also ensuring that their new life partner will receive an appropriate slice of the financial pie in the event of death or divorce.
Also, retaining sole ownership of certain assets or property that a person who is remarrying wants to leave to his or her relatives can simplify the inheritance process. A postnup is a similar document created after marriage. It can provide added weight to the prenup by affirming what was originally agreed to prior to tying the knot again. Mutually acceptable updates can be made as well if circumstances change. People who are remarrying are also advised to update their estate plans and beneficiary designations on insurance policies and financial and/or retirement accounts.
While a prenup and postnup lawyer can prepare documents that pretty much cover all available assets, additional commodities acquired after a remarriage are often considered joint property. In California, this means a 50-50 split. Another option is for a remarrying person to set up joint accounts with his or her adult children, so assets can be easily accessed at any point. However, a lawyer typically advises a client to clue a new spouse in on such plans first.