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Is Marriage a Necessary Step?


As older couples contemplate and move forward with divorce, some are starting a second marriage late in life. For those in a new long-term relationship and nearing retirement, this begs the question- is marriage a necessary step? For some, it is, but for others, simple cohabitation–and an executed cohabitation agreement–will suffice.

Those who plan on entering a new marriage, while simultaneously nearing retirement, must consider whether certain legal documents are necessary to protect the assets he or she has built up throughout life. These documents include prenuptial agreements, updated estate plans, corporate documents, and deeds.

A prenuptial agreement affords protection in the event of a dissolution of marriage. Such agreements may control the distribution of income, assets and debts or the provision of alimony. While discussing the possibility of entering into a prenuptial agreement may be difficult, it can save money and time in the long run.

Additionally, updating your estate plans helps ensure you can pass your assets to your descendants without unnecessary complications. Simply adding language to your Will that says “in contemplation of marriage” can make the biggest difference.

Lastly, if you are a business owner, certain corporate documents may better ensure your interest won’t be transferred to a spouse or third party in the event of divorce. Nonalienation provisions and mandatory buy-sell agreements in shareholder agreements or operating agreements are just a few ways to better protect your corporate interests. These documents should be completed prior to getting married and generally require the assistance of an attorney.

For more information regarding prenuptial agreements, and estate planning and corporate matters, please call us at (404) 255-7400 or email us at info@hoffmanestatelaw.com