Prenuptial Agreements for Elderly Couples

When thinking about prenuptial agreements one commonly may envision parents urging their soon-to-be wed child not to be blinded by love, and to protect their assets with a premarital agreement. Lately, however, there has been a role reversal. The prenup has taken on a whole new meaning. Adult children, concerned about protecting their inheritance, are advocating for their elderly parents to sign premarital agreements .

More than half a million seniors will marry this year. Some of these nuptials are causing concern for the bride and groom's adult children. In some cases, a single elderly parent who marries again intends to live in his or her home with the new spouse. But that's the same house in which the now-adult children grew up and the one they expected to receive when the parent died. Children may worry that the family home will be lost to a new spouse they hardly know, or that the financial inheritance they planned on will be lost.

Marlene Eskind Moses, President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), explains that attorneys have seen an increase in adult children involving themselves in these affairs. "They now want to be involved in prenup agreements, wills, trusts and health care directives that clearly states how much will be spent and then into who owns what possessions ranging from a house to porcelain dishes." Some adult children go to great lengths to protect their rights, even contesting wills before the parent has passed away.

It is often wise for adult children to talk to their elderly parent about any concerns regarding inheritance and the possibility of a prenuptial agreement before the parent remarries. An experienced family law attorney can provide valuable advice and guidance about prenuptial agreements to families in this situation.