Getting married always comes with challenges and finances that needs to be worked out. This is especially true for people in their retirement years.
When people fall in love and decide that they want to get married, they often do not think of all of the financial consequences of their decision to wed. In the popular imagination this is something that young couples do all the time. They rush into a marriage without having first considered all of the financial implications.
However, elder law experts point out that the tendency does not go away with age.
Senior citizens are just as likely to get married without thinking everything through. That can be a problem, because seniors have more they need to think about than younger people as the Hartford Courant reports in "Fit To Be Tied? Think Twice About Marriage In Your Golden Years."
Senior citizens considering getting married need to think about how marriage will affect all of their other plans, including retirement and estate plans. For example, a retired person might think his well-crafted estate plan to leave his assets to his children is solid and that a new wife with assets of her own will not affect those plans.
In reality, it is almost impossible to cut a spouse out of an estate plan entirely. Consequently, whether or not the couple intends it, the new spouse is likely to inherit something without very careful planning.
That is not to say senior citizens should never get married. They just need to think about it and visit an elder law attorney to learn about all the implications and what can be done about them.