Love and companionship are important to everyone, including senior citizens. When you are widowed or divorced you may eventually find a new partner, and this can make a huge difference in your life during your golden years.
However, there is an interesting trend developing that has caught the attention of the elder law community. According to United States Census Bureau statistics, increasing numbers of individuals who are in their 60s are deciding to live together without getting married.
This is a personal decision and the reasons why some people go this route are usually financially oriented. For one thing, the matter of dissolving the resources of each individual entering the union into community property can pose some difficulties on various different levels.
While it is possible to enter into a prenuptial agreement delineating the personal property of each person entering the union, some people choose to simply remain unmarried while living together in committed partnerships.
Another issue that arises is the potential loss of pension benefits upon remarriage. In addition, Medicaid/Medi-Cal is used by many seniors to pay for long-term care, but there are upper resource limits. In some cases, marriage could impact Medicaid/Medi-Cal eligibility.
For many, choosing not to marry can make sense on a financial level. However, those who decide to remain unmarried must take action to state their final wishes in writing for the protection of their partners.
There are no provisions for people who are not legally married along intestacy lines of succession. As a result, you must execute the appropriate estate planning documents to be certain that your significant other does not wind up being unintentionally disinherited if you were to pass away first.