‘Age Gap’ Relationships and Estate Planning Considerations

As they say, age is but a number. Many people of varying ages end up meeting and falling in love every single day. And while the average age gap between married individuals is about 2-4 years, there are still many couples who were born much farther apart. After all, each relationship is unique and depends upon the two people involved. However, although wide age gaps don’t have to negatively impact a relationship, the difference in age shouldn’t be entirely ignored. Especially not when it comes to estate planning.

Estate planning is so important because it is used to help protect both you and your loved one, your assets, and to provide for the best way to handle a multitude of situations should they arise. Because different life events and milestones generally occur at different times for those of different ages, it’s imperative to fully understand one another’s goals and desires – and to bear in mind that they often continue to change over time.

Work Considerations

One major thing to take into consideration is your career and your income. The way in which you feel about your career now will likely be different than ten or twenty years from now. It’s important to ask yourselves and each other the following questions:

  • Are you planning to continue to work?
  • How long do you plan to continue working for?
  • Will your income remain the same?
  • Are you contemplating a career change?

The partner who is much older may already be contemplating retirement and must make considerations accordingly. When one spouse retires, this may impact the standard by which you live. But if you retire together, will there be enough money for the younger spouse to live off of for a longer period of time? You also have to consider when you plan on accessing any retirement benefits, what you save regularly, and how you see your relationship in the future.

Assets and Debts

In a large age gap relationship, it’s more likely that the older partner will have greater income and/or more assets, while the younger one will have greater debts. These debts and assets must be taken into consideration when estate planning. You may need to consider the answers to questions such as:

  • Who will you leave your assets to?
  • Will your property pass outright upon your death or be held in a trust?
  • Will you leave anything to your children or expect your spouse to handle that?
  • Who will serve as trustee if you have a trust?
  • Who will serve as the executor of your estate?

By speaking with your spouse about these questions you can help to avoid a lot of potential issues later on.

Biddle Law Can Help

Age gap relationships can be wonderful and without added stress. However, it is extremely important that you understand the importance of talking with your spouse about the aforementioned estate planning issues. A comprehensive estate plan that can make all the difference. This is why it’s so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California estate planning attorney who knows the current laws and has experience dealing with such important estate planning documents.

At Biddle Law, we are here to answer all of your questions and walk you through the entire process. We care about you and your loved ones and want to help in any way we can. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!