Many couples don’t marry because they want to protect the inheritances of children, too. Prenuptial agreements can stipulate who the heirs will be, but partners worry that legal documents may not be airtight or could be changed after a spouse dies. Another fear is that marriage can result in families losing student aid, and some remarried partners insist on prenuptial agreements saying that the stepparent will not contribute to college tuition. Problem: the child loses financial aid anyway, because the prenuptial agreements are between the parents only and they’re not binding on schools.

The original article also explains that some couples delay marriage because of Social Security, which states that a survivor is entitled to a share of a late spouse’s benefits. However, survivors who remarry before age 60 lose those benefits. Government pensions likewise will keep some people from marrying. Under the rules, a survivor can be entitled to half of a deceased spouse’s pension. Again, if survivors remarry before age 55, then they would lose that pension.

If all of this sounds complex, know that it is. Be sure to consult an estate planning attorney to advise you.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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