Lengthy marriages lasting many decades can still end in divorce. These so-called gray divorces usually involve couples aged 50 or older, who often face more complex situations when it comes to asset division and other issues.
While the process can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your best interests. Here are a few things you can do when preparing for a divorce later in life.
Deciding who pays for what
Divorce agreements contain instructions on how to split assets, as well as which spouse should pay the other alimony when applicable. However, it can also include instructions on which spouse is responsible for other expenses, such as the marriage of an adult child or costs for attending college. While these considerations are not always included in divorce agreements, doing so can save you a lot of hassle in the future.
Changing power of attorney
Many spouses serve as each other’s power of attorney. This role allows a person to assume financial responsibility for another, usually when serious illness and injury occurs. If your ex remains your power of attorney post-divorce, they may end up controlling your finances if you become incapable. Accordingly, you must update your power of attorney before or soon after you split.
Reviewing your estate plan
Your estate plan will also experience quite a few changes after your divorce. Along with removing your ex-spouse, you might also consider adjusting the amount of money you plan to leave your heirs, such as your adult children. You may need to retain more of your assets to start a new life, which means your current estate plan may no longer apply.
Gray divorces tend to be more complicated, so both parties must enter into the process fully prepared. While it can be challenging, taking the right steps ensures you can establish a new life for yourself once the dust settles.