Getting remarried in later life can impact your financial plans.
By contrast, younger people are now less likely to marry, while marriage rates for men over the age of 60 and women over the age of 50 are increasing. These figures show that people are also choosing to cohabit either as a forerunner to marriage or instead of it. If you are finding love in later life, then these changes can affect your financial plans and you need to be aware of the implications. If you do not, you could find yourself under financial pressure in the future if one partner dies.
What if I get remarried?
Most people are aware of the need to update their wills when they get married. However, you need to make sure your expression of wish form for your pension is updated with your new spouse’s details. If not, there’s a risk that the person previously named (i.e. the previous spouse) might receive the benefits in error.
This depends on whether the scheme is set up under discretion or direction-
- With a discretionary based scheme, trustees have the power to investigate whether the person named on the form is the right person to receive the benefit.
- With a direction basis scheme, the trustees are obliged to pay the benefits to the person named on the form. You need to be aware that this is regardless of whether the deceased had remarried or lived with someone else.
What happens if I cohabit?
Contrary to popular belief there’s no such thing as common law marriage. Cohabitees can live together for many years and raise children together, but still, find themselves with few rights if one of them dies. For this reason, keeping your financial plans up to date and documented is important.
You also need to be aware that workplace pension schemes may not have the same death benefit arrangements for cohabiting couples than they do for married people. Without this benefit, it may mean that your partner could be at risk of financial hardship. In addition, you need to be aware that there is no automatic right to inherit property from each other. So again, it’s important that wills are kept up to date to make sure the right person inherits.
When it comes to property you need to know how the property was originally purchased.
- If the property was purchased on a joint tenancy basis, both partners will own the house and the surviving partner will inherit their deceased partner’s share.
- If the property was bought under a tenants-in-common arrangement then unless the deceased partner has named their partner in their will, there’s no certainty they will inherit that portion of the property.
Without knowing, this could mean that you could find yourself owning the property with your partner’s family or children from a previous relationship. This may prove tricky.
You also need to be aware that as a cohabiting couple you will not benefit from the same inheritance tax treatment as a married couple. You could find yourself facing unexpected tax bills that could run into many thousands of pounds. Also, you will be unable to benefit from arrangements available to married couples who can transfer any unused portion of their inheritance tax nil rate band to their spouse.
How Anstee & Co can help you with financial planning.
As you can see from the above there is a lot to consider if your living arrangements change by getting remarried or cohabitating. All these issues can have serious and long-lasting effects on your future finances.
As a firm of Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s), we can help you. Being independent means that the financial advice we offer is unbiased. We look at all the financial options available from the “whole of market”.
Why not arrange a meeting with one of our financial planners today if you have remarried or are cohabitating? The initial fact-finding meeting is at our cost and without obligation. Meetings can be arranged at your home or at one of our offices located-
- Kettering, Northamptonshire
- Stamford, Lincolnshire
- Towcester, Northamptonshire
- London, Greater London, Pall Mall
Additionally, our advisors live and make use of meeting rooms in-
- Bedford, Bedfordshire
- Market Harborough, Leicestershire
- Northampton, Thrapston and Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Finally, the information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. No action should be taken based on this article alone.