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The “Golden Bachelor” Puts a Spotlight on Estate Planning for Remarriage

ABC recently launched a new version of their hit reality tv series “The Bachelor.” Instead of featuring a 20-something looking for love, “The Golden Bachelor” will chronicle a mature widower’s search for a second romance.

The man selected for the title role is Gerry Turner, a 71-year-old retiree from Indiana. He’s ready for a new relationship following the death of his wife of 43 years. He’s the father of two daughters and grandfather of two grandchildren. The ladies vying for his affections are of similar ages and also have families from prior relationships.

Age is No Barrier to Remarriage

Some may be surprised to learn that as the age of the person increases, their willingness to remarry increases. Older individuals are more likely to remarry compared to younger adults.

Age brackets and the percentage of people who remarry were:

  • 18 to 24 years – 29% will remarry

  • 25 to 34 years – 43% will remarry

  • 35 to 44 years – 57% will remarry

  • 45 to 54 years – 63% will remarry

  • 55 to 64 years – 67% will remarry

  • 65 years and older – 50% will remarry

According to Pew Research, the multiple marriage cohort is a growing one, particularly among Americans 55 and older. This has changed over time for various reasons. People live longer now, and adult children are more accepting of their parents remarrying after a divorce or spouse’s death.

The Economic Impact of Remarriage

While newlyweds in their 20s or 30s may come to a marriage light on money but high on hopes, more mature couples caught up in the romance of the second marriage may not be thinking about the financial aspects of bringing their households together. They often bring with them substantial financial assets, retirement accounts, real estate and frequently children (and grandchildren).

Ask yourself:

  • If you’re moving into one of your existing homes, should you add your new spouse’s name to the deed and, if so, what does that mean about your family’s right to a share of the home when you and your new spouse die?

  • One of you will pass away first, with the survivor possibly inheriting much of the first spouse’s estate. How do you take care of your spouse but also assure that your children and grandchildren will inherit your separate assets?

  • Should you make your new spouse the beneficiary of your retirement accounts? If you do, will your children receive any amounts left over when your new spouse dies?

  • What if your new spouse leaves their entire estate, which includes assets they inherited when you passed away, to their own children? That would leave your children inheriting nothing. This was a question posed to popular syndicated columnist Ask Amy.

Love, Loss, and Legacy

If you don’t have answers to these questions, it would be wise to update your estate plan to include your children, loved ones or charities who you hope will benefit from your separate estate. The experienced estate and elder law attorneys at Fiffik Law Group can help you craft a custom estate plan that will preserve your assets and protect your loved ones. Contact us today to set up a meeting with our experienced team of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia-based estate planning attorneys.


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