Marriage and financial benefits? This is how it’s done

Berlin / Bonn.You are never too old to marry. And even in old age, vows are more than just a ritual that seals love. A marriage certificate can have practical advantages. The overview shows where you benefit from and where you should take precautions in case of an emergency:

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tax declaration

Married couples can sometimes benefit from a spouse split, says attorney who specializes in inheritance and tax law. This means that they both file the tax return together. Then the treasury treats them as one person. “But a split in this pair only pays off if one partner earns more than the other,” says Root. In this case, more money remains after marriage than before marriage.

Married couples can file a tax return together, but they don’t have to. If both wish to remain under assessment individually, they must notify the tax office of this in writing. Two people who get married and tax together get double the savings bonus – up to €1602 (for one person: up to €801). This means that capital gains are tax deductible up to the specified amount. Concretely, this means that if one spouse receives less than €801 in investment income, the spouses can use the rest on their income.

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Allow the tax

What also speaks in favor of marriage: “Marriage increases the spouse’s tax credit for both gifts and inheritance tax,” says Root. Suppose a partner has collected a cash account, money and valuable paintings. Even during his life he would like to distribute his possessions to his relatives. Such donations are common – because such high assets can be converted tax-free in a targeted manner.

While the spouse has a tax benefit of €500,000, the non-registered partner is only entitled to an allowance of €20,000. Recipients can reuse the allowance every ten years. The following applies to the inheritance tax: “Spouses do not have to pay inheritance tax up to €500,000, and life partners do not pay anything up to €20,000,” says Roth. Married couples and registered civil partnerships also have a clear advantage here.

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Gains equation

Married couples automatically live in a profit society if they do not have a marriage contract. In the event of the death of one of the spouses, the surviving partner receives his or her share of any tax-exempt earnings equalization.

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Example: the wife owns a valuable art, the value of which at the beginning of the marriage is 500 thousand euros. The husband has no assets. The woman dies after 20 years, and her art collection is now worth €1 million. So I made a profit of 500,000 euros. A man is entitled to half of this – and it is tax free. “A man can now claim this €250,000 plus an allowance of €500,000 for inheritance tax,” explains Root.

mutual care

Marriage at an advanced age can also be beneficial in terms of illness and care. “By marriage, for example, both parties pledge to support each other,” says attorney Dietmar Kurz. One takes care of the other. However: Until now, the husband/wife has not had the right to make medical decisions for the other in case of emergency. This will not change until January 1, 2023, when the “emergency right of representation” between spouses will come into effect.

This states that if one spouse is unable to act or make decisions as a result of an illness or accident, the other spouse can make health care decisions for him or her. “However, this is subject to certain conditions,” Kurtz says. If the spouse expresses a contrary will, for example in a power of attorney, there should be no so-called representation of the spouse.

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power of attorney life will

Couples should definitely give them to each other after marriage, Kurtz advises. A power of attorney is a document that appoints a “personal agent” to make decisions on your behalf other than medical treatment in the event of unconsciousness or incapacitation. “The power of attorney is important, for example, so that one spouse can apply for a nursing degree for the other who needs care,” the attorney explains.

According to Curtis, if this power of attorney is missing, your spouse will not be allowed to make important decisions if you are no longer able to do so on your own — but a court-appointed guardian. “Although the court can, in turn, appoint a husband or wife as a guardian.” But in order to avoid backsliding, it makes sense to set up a healthcare agent from the start. Also important: both spouses must draw up a living will for themselves. In this way, they determine which medical or nursing treatment they want and what they do not want, if they are no longer able to express themselves in the event of an emergency due to illness or accident.

Compensation for lost heirs

If the widows or widows remarry, the pensions of the former widows or widows will no longer apply, says Dirk von der Heide of the German Pension Insurance Association. As a “quick start” for a new marriage, those affected can receive a one-time pension settlement. “An application for the severance payment by an informal letter and the marriage certificate must be submitted on the new marriage in the pension insurance,” says von der Heide.

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According to the Social Security Act, termination payments are 24 contributions per month. The basis is used as the basis for the last twelve calendar months in which you withdrew your pension – then the average amount calculated from this period is paid 24 times. “The deciding factor here is the amount of the pension after accounting for income, but before any deduction for contributions to health and long-term care insurance,” says von der Heide.

If one of the spouses dies shortly after marriage, the following applies in relation to the pension: “There is only a widow’s or widower’s pension if the marriage has lasted at least a year,” says von der Heide. In this way, the legislator wants to exclude “care marriage”. However, if the husband/wife dies in an accident, for example, there is entitlement to a pension even if the marriage is shorter. The same is true of illness that occurred suddenly and quickly and led to death.

RND / dpa

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