Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons

One of the themes I will bring up often is how legal marriage has been manipulated by legislatures who seem to want to promote it, then set up financial disincentives because in most of the tax and welfare policies they promote, they want to appear “progressive” — in other words, tax at a higher rate for the well-off, and remove social subsidies from people whose incomes go up. As a result, two income couples must seriously consider whether it is worth the legal protections of marriage when their taxes may rise and their subsidies fall. For older couples with children from previous marriages, legislatures have often taken away their freedom to give their estate away as they wish, requiring certain percentages to the surviving spouse. Even with complex prenups, courts may not follow their wishes, and so it is safer and cheaper to forgo legal marriage and try to get what protection they can from medical and financial powers of attorney and trusts. Which are also expensive to draft.

The New York Times covers this here.

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