Widower Wednesday: Finances, Prenups, and Wills

The last couple of weeks I've got several emails in regards to prenuptial agreements. Here’s one form a GOW who gave me permission to share it with readers.

Dear Abel

I’m dating a widower who is very well off financially. Since we've become serious his children has expressed concern to their father about what will happen to his estate should he pass on before I do. I understand their concern but at the same time I don’t want to be left with nothing should he die. (I don’t have much.) I’m not marrying him for his money. I’m in my 60's and have lived frugally most of my life and don’t need or want much. However, at the same time I don’t want to find myself turned out of his house with nowhere to live go should he pass on before me. I’m happy to sign a prenuptial agreement if he wants but worry that I’ll sound like I’m greedy if I bring up the subject of his finances and money. What is the best way to handle this situation?




If you’re in a serious relationship and the two of you have talked about spending the rest of your lives together, you need to able to talk about things like money, finances, and the with him. The sooner you do it, the better it will be for you, him, and anyone else involved in this situation. When you have some time alone, bring up your concerns and let him know why you’re asking these questions. You’re not being greedy by bringing up the subject. It’s something you need to know now so you can decide what consequences you might face should the two of you get married or move in together.

If you both come to an agreement or understanding, then have the legal paperwork drawn up. Hire an independent attorney review them before you sign anything just to make sure you really understand what you’re getting yourself into. Just understand that as of now it’s his wealth and he’s free to do whatever he wants with it. He can give it all to you, his kids, his favorite charity, or a pet cat. He’s under no obligation right now it to you, his kids, or anyone else.

I think that you’ll find out that this conversation isn't a big of deal to him as you’re making it out to be. Most people don’t have a problem discussing this with someone they want to spend the rest of their life with. Widowers are somewhat more willing to have these conversations since they've already lost someone and understand the consequences of having (or not having) a will or other legal agreements in place should their spouse die. Just don’t wait to do it or have things changed after your married. Life is short. All it takes is a sudden heart attack or car accident to end things. It should be agreed upon and taken care of sooner rather than later.

Have the talk and let me know how it turns out.