More seniors are choosing to live together rather than get married. There are a number of reasons for this, but these individuals in Illinois also need to take some time for estate planning — especially since they’re cohabiting. The rationale behind the jump in these statistics is that many seniors don’t find marriage to be financially feasible.
Seniors who live together without marrying need to update their wills to make sure their lifestyles don’t impact their beneficiaries. Experts suggest they should also keep their bank accounts and assets separate. They also need to ensure other estate planning documents are updated and to keep them that way — documents like a power of attorney, trusts and health care directives. There are various forms available to individuals in this situation and they’re things with which a lawyer can help.
Health care wishes should be discussed with adult children and be stated in writing as should any death-with-dignity requests. It is also advisable to have a cohabitation agreement in place as an additional safeguard. Seniors living together may also think about getting long term care insurance.
An Illinois estate planning attorney may be able to offer comprehensive advice to a senior client who is living with a partner rather than marrying. An attorney may be able to advise his or her client on how to mitigate or to avoid estate taxes, and keep to assets safe from beneficiaries’ creditors. A lawyer may be able to help reduce or avoid conflicts and confusion in the estate planning process.