Over the generations many elders have counseled younger relatives to refrain from living with a boyfriend or girlfriend. They recommend tying the knot before moving in together so that things are “done right.”
Ironically, elder law experts are finding that more and more senior citizens are deciding to live together without getting legally married.
When you compare United States Census Bureau American Community Surveys from 2005-2007 and 2008-2010 you see that there was a 14% increase in cohabitation among people who are at least 60 years of age.
Why are more and more elder Americans deciding to jettison convention? For the most part they are doing so for financial reasons.
Survivor’s pension benefits can be lost in some cases through remarriage. And of course there is the matter of the reluctance to merge financial assets.
Even if you have absolutely no problem with your spouse sharing your resources while you are still alive you may be concerned about the well-being of your children after you pass away.
There really is no way of knowing with certainty what your surviving partner would do with shared resources if you were to die first.
People who choose to remain unmarried while living in committed relationships do have to take estate planning especially seriously.
Your partner will not be provided for if you do not record your wishes in a legally binding manner. Remember, there is no relationship there in the eyes of the law if intestacy succession rules were used to determine how to distribute your assets.
If you are engaged in a domestic partnership you may want to take action sooner rather than later to consult with an estate planning lawyer if you have not yet taken the appropriate actions to ensure the well-being of your significant other.