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Older same-sex couples have much to consider prior to marrying

After the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that same-sex marriage was legal across the nation, many gay couples celebrated by heading to the altar. Many of these couples had been living together for years. Some had civil unions or domestic partnerships while still other couples simply lived together without any formal legal arrangement.

It is possible that the Court's decision inspired some older same-sex couples to consider finally tying the knot. But just like their opposite-sex counterparts, older same-sex couples have a number of important issues to consider prior to committing to marriage.

For example, many individuals who are age 55 or over, have reached their peak earning potential. If both partners make equally good money, then they could face a marriage penalty in regard to taxes. In such cases, a couple could save money by being single filers.

Also, as we get older, we need to start considering matters of our estates. Specifically, we want to make sure that our assets are distributed as we see fit. If you should get married, your spouse receives certain rights regarding inheritance that could be at odds with your plans for the disbursement of your estate. So, it is best that this issue be addressed directly.

So, if you want to marry your partner, but also want to make sure that your estate plans and other financial issues are clarified, you may want to look into getting a prenuptial agreement. In addition to estate issues, the agreement could cover such things as property division in case of divorce. It could also clarify financial responsibility regarding expenses and debts.

For an older same-sex couple, getting married could be a wonderful statement of commitment and also provide other benefits afforded to all married couples. But it is important to enter a marriage fully aware of all your legal rights and responsibilities. If you wish to get a fuller picture of what marriage entails, you may wish to contact a family law attorney who is familiar with the specific issues faced by same-sex couples.

Source: CNBC, "Older and engaged? Here are 5 considerations before marrying," Anna Robaton, Dec. 14, 2015

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