An interesting elder law trend has emerged involving the numbers of seniors who are in relationships who decide not to get legally married.
According to United States Census statistics, if you compare findings from 2005 through 2007 to the 2008-2010 figures, the number of Americans in their 60’s who are unmarried but living with partners has increased by 14%.
There are a variety of different financial reasons why more people are deciding to remain unmarried. One of them involves Medicaid eligibility.
A lot of elders rely on Medicaid to pay for long-term care. To qualify you must stay within upper financial resource limits. The partner who is bringing fewer assets to the marriage could be taking a step backward with regard to potential Medicaid eligibility by tying the knot.
There is also the matter of providing for children from previous marriages. While there are legal steps that can be taken to cover all your bases many people are concerned about merging assets. If you simply leave your assets to your spouse, you have no way of knowing what he or she would do with these resources, and your children could potentially be left out in the cold.
Another reason why people decide not to get married is because of the fact that pension benefits or Social Security survivor’s benefits could be lost.
The best way to sort through all of the relevant issues would be to consult with a good Indianapolis elder law attorney. And, if you do choose to live with someone without getting married, you absolutely must have a solid estate plan in place to be sure that your partner is provided for in accordance with your wishes.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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