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Making The Complex Understandable

Why are prenups particularly crucial for older people?

People are putting off marriage longer than they used to. People are living longer, so it's not uncommon to be married two or even more times during your life, either because you've divorced or your spouse has died. Many people find the second great love of their lives during their retirement years. All this means that a lot of people middle-age people and senior citizens are tying the knot.

Many may have some "traditional" views about marriage, including an aversion to the idea of a prenuptial agreement. However, a prenup may be more crucial to older people than younger ones (although everyone should consider them) for a number of reasons:

-- They are more likely to have accumulated a fair amount of assets, including retirement plans, investments and property.

-- They may own their own business that they need to protect.

-- They may have children, grandchildren, ex-spouses or other family members that they want to ensure are taken care of or have obligations to through divorce and support agreements.

-- One or both people may have accumulated a significant amount of debt or other financial obligations over the years. A prenup can help people keep from getting stuck with a spouse's premarital debt.

Bankrate suggests that at the very least, a couple have a basic prenup that "lists an inventory of premarital assets that in the event of a divorce will remain the property of their original owner."

However, "do-it-yourself" prenups are not a good idea. One of these templates that you can get online may be a good way for you and your intended to start the conversation, disclose your financial situations to one another and map out how you want to divide up your assets should you divorce. However, each of you needs the legal guidance of a family law attorney who has experience drafting prenups and knows Louisiana law. A prenup that can be ruled invalid by a court isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

The subject of a prenup is often a difficult one to bring up for people of any age. However, the stakes are too high not to protect the assets you've worked hard for and your promises or financial obligations to other family members.

Source: Forbes, "Prenups: I Do Or Don't At Any Age," Neale Godfrey, Aug. 30, 2015

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