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My children have advised me to cohabitate as opposed to marrying because I am now living on my deceased ex husband's social security benefits. If I marry i will lose those benefits and at this point there is a real possiblilty my new spouse and I wouldn't both survive the required 10 years to become eligible for his social security. I was a career homemaker and would lose 70 percent of my income if I were forced to try to live on my own SS benefits. Those benefits are all I have to show financially for my 21 years of marriage.
I would like to be with someone for the opportunity to combine our incomes. I would not marry legally but I would like to have a committment ceremony to pledge our feelings. It's probably not going to happen but if it does I will be responsible for my own financial affairs and make sure there is an equal financial sharing. If a man was unwilling to create a financial partnership it would be a red flag to me.
In Response to Re: WOULD YOU CONSIDER COHABITATING?:
There are ways to protect the person you are living with through making them the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, naming them as one of the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts, having an account at a bank or credit union with their name as POD (payable upon death). There is no reason to have a loved one left out in the cold financially upon the death of the other. They should sit down and plan together what they each would wish for upon that event and plan for it. If you love someone enough to live with them, you should love them enough to financial protect them even in the event you do not marry. I have three children who I have prepared for financially, but would additionally provide for my partner, upon my death.
Posted by naturephotography
There are a lot of interesting observations and comments here. What rings loud and clear for me in all of them is a sense that fair play should be involved and if a couple wishes to cohabit rather than make it a more formal arrangement, they should make clear what their intentions are through written instructions rather than trusting their "next of kin" to "do the right thing."
I agree 100% with what naturephotography wrote in her post...especially when she said "If you love someone enough to live with them, you should love them enough to financial (sic) protect them even in the event you do not marry."
I have been thinking about this for quite some time, but recently, I have more of a reason to think about it. In my case, neither of us needs or wants what the other has. Still, if things progress to that stage, I will be more than happy to make sure it will be perfectly clear to my children and the executor of my estate what my wishes are. I expect that he will do the same with his children and I will not do anything at all until we sit down together with an attorney who specializes in wills & estates. Fortunately, she's already involved in my planning and it shouldn't take much to make sure that everyone is satisfied with the plan. FWIW, I think this is much easier than agreeing to disagree about politics and religion. ;o) Would we cohabitate? Maybe. Would we marry? Very unlikely...both of us feel that there is nothing to be gained by marriage and there are all of those financial considerations/penalties for marrying.
As much as we all love our children, the bottom line is that we do not "owe" them anything at all...we leave them bequests of family heirlooms, goods or money because we love them and know that they will cherish those bequests along with their memories of us as their parents. I am not advocating "leaving them out of the will," instead, what I'm trying to convey is that we should not allow ourselves to get into the bind of dying "intestate." We should plan ahead for situations just like this so there are NO misunderstandings. Unfortunately, the numbers of "blended families" are increasing all of the time. That should, in no way, be interpreted to mean that they all become "one big happy family" because many times, that is simply not the case. Some children resent the surviving parent for partnering "too soon," whether by marriage or cohabitation, and they blame the newcomer to the family...sometimes by slights and omissions, other times by outright shunning. In divorce, similar situations occur. Individuals who "come out" after a marriage can have severe problems with their children.
It would be interesting to know if the gentleman had a will and if his choice of executor has qualified to administer his estate. If he did have a will, the "kids" may be in violation of it. My father was a Florida resident and I live in a mid-Atlantic state. I was his executrix and we held all bank accounts jointly...not that he was unable to conduct his affairs...it was in the case of an emergency. My experience with probate in Florida was not a simple one nor a good one, even though we had done everything in advance to make things easier. That was about 15 years ago so I hope things have become simpler since then.
Peace... ~ Mimi
Posted by Prosecco62