More and more elder Americans are choosing not to get married to their partners. Instead, they are just living together.
The trend over the last few decades has been for people to get remarried late in life. This has created many issues for estate planning and the families of the people who do get remarried.
That trend is starting to reverse, but that does not mean people are not finding companionship in their retirement years.
Today, rather than getting married, many elderly people are just moving in together and foregoing a marriage certificate, according to The New York Times in “More Older Couples Are ‘Shacking Up’.”
While this might solve some problems, such as getting around the laws of intestate and spousal election to make sure that any assets go to the children and remain in the family, it does not solve all of the problems. Instead, it creates a different set of problems that need to be worked through in an estate plan.
If two elderly people are living together, it becomes important to create estate plans that do not leave one of them in a bad position when the other passes away.
You do not want to create a situation where a partner is unable to afford the rent after you pass away or gets kicked out of the property you own by your heirs.
These do not need to be major problems with proper estate planning, but they can be without that planning.
Reference: New York Times (May 8, 2017) “More Older Couples Are ‘Shacking Up’.”