Marriage finances: What to know before tying the knot | Personal Finance | Finance

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Elderly couples should think about their financial situation before getting married

Love can strike at any age but finances get more complex when marrying a second or third time, especially if there are children. 

Partners come with financial baggage in the form of pensions, property and investments, which must be handled carefully. 

WEDDING BELLS 

The number of over-65s getting married jumped by more than half from 2009-2014, according to the Office for National Statistics, as longevity grows and more find love online. 

A new study by Investec Wealth & Investment shows that financial considerations play a major role at this age, with growing numbers choosing to marry to secure better financial rights on death or divorce, or improved inheritance tax benefits. 


Rules differ from scheme to scheme

Sean McCann


However, many are also keen to hold on to their existing assets if their new union ends in divorce, or pass them on to children. 

Investec financial planning director Helen Medhurst- Jackson said you should work out how marriage will affect your financial assets: “You must decide what to keep separate if the marriage ends in death or divorce, and agree an inheritance plan.” 

Jane Finnerty, joint chairman at the Society of Later Life Advisers, said grown-up children and grandchildren from previous marriages must be taken into account: “With the right advice, you can avoid future family disputes and upset.” 

PENSION PLANS 

Sean McCann, a chartered financial planner at NFU Mutual, said if you are currently drawing a final salary pension, you should check whether payments will continue to your new partner if you die: “Rules differ from scheme to scheme.” 

If you have already used a company or personal pension to buy an annuity, you cannot normally change it. 

A single life annuity will continue to pay out for as long as you live, but will not pay any income to your partner after you die. McCann said: “If you bought a joint life annuity with your former spouse it may continue to pay income to them if you die first, but not your new partner.” 

If you have not bought an annuity yet, you should be free to nominate who you want to receive your pension pot when you die. 

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Married couples should update their will soon after their wedding

WRITE A WILL 

Updating your will is vital when you remarry or cohabit with a new partner. 

Deciding who…

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