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The number of couples older than 50 who were living together outside of marriage more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, and has continued to climb. It isn’t that older adults are afraid of commitment, but rather that they’re concerned about the financial burden attached to marriage later in life. When senior Americans are making these decisions, they often turn to their financial advisors for advice. If you have clients that are considering remarrying, here’s a helpful list of what they might need to consider.
When couples cohabitate without having both names on the lease or mortgage, whoever’s name is not on the lease will be unable to make a claim for that lost investment, no matter the financial contributions to repairs or monthly payments. Older couples often have homes, other investments, and grown children. If one partner does pass away, leaving behind a life partner they haven’t married, what seemed like an uncomplicated relationship can become a legal nightmare. Establishing a legally binding cohabitation agreement can help the relationship remain uncomplicated. A skilled attorney with experience working with unmarried couples can help mitigate what might be potential issues and ensure that the process flows smoothly.
How marriage affects estate planning is a common concern among married seniors. Once you get married, it can be very difficult to separate your assets. When senior adults and their partners have grown children, a lack of legal division in assets can cause major issues down the line. Also, many states have an “elective share” law that maintains percentage of your assets will go to your spouse after your death. But, when seniors cohabitate instead of marrying, this provision won’t apply. This is why unmarried elderly couples should take the time to review, update, or even simply create wills. Doing so will help clarify division of assets and make certain each partner’s wishes are met.
One major concern when it comes to staying single or remarrying is the loss of spousal Social Security benefits. Divorced elderly Americans receive Social Security dividends based on their ex-spouse’s income record if the marriage lasted more than 10 years. Remarrying causes the loss of these benefits, and can cause loss of survivor benefits or alimony payments as well. Losing these benefits can be very difficult on seniors, which is why a lot of elderly couples choose not to remarry. When the economic negatives outweigh the benefits, they may be forced to make an unwelcome decision.
However, the emotional and sentimental value of a wedding can carry a lot of importance for seniors during their sunset years. Likely, it’s cash flow that’s affecting your senior clients’ decision to remarry. Offering them information about Life Settlements might help assuage their concerns and give them the financial security to make this meaningful decision. Having extra income doesn’t change the legality, but it certainly helps pad the decision with comfort and security. Many seniors don’t know they don’t have to let their life insurance policies lapse, or that they can sell the policy for much more than the cash surrender value. Demonstrating the value of the option to engage in a life settlement or viatical could be life changing. For resources and more educational information, visit www.lsa-llc.com, today.
Life Settlement Advisors