Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

Highlights

Open

Think You Know AARP Caribbean Cruise Sweepstakes

Money & Work

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

5 More Tips About Late-Life Divorce and Your Money

Estate planning, divorce costs and other financial issues

En español | Couples divorcing after age 50 can face unique financial challenges related to everything from estate planning to Social Security benefits for ex-spouses. The more assets and debts accumulated over a long marriage, the more complicated the legal breakup. To help guide 50-plus couples through this financial maze, here are five more tips on late-life divorce from Janice Green, a family attorney and author of Divorce After 50: Your Guide to the Unique Legal & Financial Challenges.

1. How do you prepare for postdivorce living expenses?
The starting point is an accurate list of necessary and discretionary living expenses. You must know how much income you'll need — whether alimony, passive income from assets, note payments between spouses or employment. With less time to bounce back from the economic upheaval associated with divorce, accurate budgetary projections are crucial in the gray divorce.

I urge clients to work on this task over several days after all the financial records needed are available to them. They are also encouraged to work with a financial professional or financially savvy friend or family member who can challenge their assumptions and categories of expenditures. Doing so is cost effective and produces a more precise outcome.

2. Is estate planning relevant in a late-life divorce?
Yes, definitely. Think about estate planning at three points in time: before, during and after a divorce.

Before, you may have insurance beneficiaries, will beneficiaries or powers of attorney that benefit the other spouse or that name the other spouse to a fiduciary role such as an executor. Before filing for divorce, you may want to make changes. Sometimes changes are prohibited after a divorce is filed, so check with your attorney. You may not want your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to have powers under a health care or general power of attorney — especially not when there is a lot of conflict and life/death decisions are at stake.

During a divorce, estate plans can be a relevant part of a property settlement agreement. Sometimes, longtime spouses agree to create trusts for each other or have will provisions that benefit the other spouse — even after the divorce. For example, the couple may agree to set aside funds in a trust to pay for a spouse to go back to school to retool for the workplace. If the spouse decides not to go back to school for some reason, then that money is not lost. It can revert back to the first spouse or be used for other purposes. Also, it is important for the divorce attorney to review estate-planning documents created before the divorce, because you may have taken action that limits what you can do with certain property during a divorce.

After a divorce, you want to re-execute wills, etc. In most states, former spouses are automatically excluded from serving as trustees or estate administrators or from receiving under your will. So you want your wills and any living trusts to be in compliance with what you agree to in your divorce. I tell clients that they should not consider their divorce finished until they've revised their will and estate plan.

Is your financial survival going to be an issue? >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Homeowners Insurance
Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.