Some older couples who cohabit rather than marry reach that decision in order to protect their children’s inheritances. Others decide against marriage in order to avoid the risk of having to cover long-term care and other medical costs often incurred by the elderly. Even though a prenuptial agreement might protect a person’s heirs, as reported appellate court decisions show, prenuptial agreements can fail if not properly drafted or properly executed. Additionally, probate codes in some states require that surviving spouses receive one-third or more of their assets to surviving spouses.
Then there’s the expense for drafting of an enforceable prenup. Both parties must have lawyers. The terms of the prenup have to be negotiated. Depending upon the usual hourly rate of the attorney in the city or region where the parties live and the value of the assets of the parties sought to be protected, it isn’t unusual for a prenup to cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.
Another consideration might be avoidance of “the marriage penalty” imposed for federal income taxes. Worse, a surviving spouse receiving social security who remarries before age 60 will lose those benefits. A surviving military spouse, if she remarries, will lose the military pension and other valuable benefits.
Read more here: Luxenberg, Stanley. Welcoming Love at an Older Age, but Not Necessarily Marriage. New York Times, (Last Accessed April 25, 2014)