The United States Census Bureau conducts surveys that can be very useful to those who are interested in the field of elder law. Their American Community Surveys for 2005-2007 and 2008-2010 revealed an interesting trend.
Apparently more and more senior citizens who are in committed live-in relationships are choosing to remain unmarried. Between the two time periods the number of people who are at least 60 years old who are living with someone increased by 14% to 1,206,661.
One reason why many elder Americans may decide not to get married is because of the fact that pension benefits can be lost, and if you get remarried before the age of 60 Social Security survivor’s benefits can be forfeited.
There is also the matter of merging financial assets. This can be complicated and sensitive on a number of different levels.
Perhaps the biggest concern that people have is the future well-being of their children from previous relationships. If you were to simply allow all property to become community property you can’t be certain that your children will be provided for by your surviving spouse if you were to pass away first.
Since Medicaid eligibility is determined by financial parameters getting married could have negative implications for some.
If you are trying to sort through the facts as a senior citizen who is in a relationship the best way to proceed would be to discuss everything with a licensed and experienced Hartford elder law attorney. Your lawyer will answer all your questions, evaluate your unique circumstances, and provide you with the appropriate advice.