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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Kaplan: The Authorized Benefits And Disadvantages Of Marriage Later In Life

Richard L. Kaplan (Illinois; Google Scholar), Referencing NonMarriage in Later Years, 99 Washington U. L. Rev. 1957 (2021):

Washington U Law Review (2020)Many {couples} in later life ponder whether or not marriage offers extra authorized advantages than drawbacks, and that’s the central query of this text. It considers the benefits and downsides that marital standing conveys to older {couples} throughout completely different authorized regimes, focusing particularly on Medicaid eligibility to finance long-term care and relevant provisions pertaining to asset transfers and autopsy restoration of advantages. However the article additionally considers the remedy of spouses in figuring out Social Safety advantages, earnings taxation of these advantages and of residential inclinations, employment-based retirement plans, testamentary protections, surrogate decision-making, medical health insurance, and normal indebtedness.

On this Article’s opening instance, Invoice and Betty are contemplating whether or not their later-in-life relationship ought to comply with their accustomed observe to marriage. However as this Article has proven, marriage has a profound and pervasive influence on quite a few U.S. authorized regimes, particularly these affecting People as they become old. In lots of cases, marriage is clearly preferenced by the relevant statute, however that sample doesn’t maintain in each circumstance. Older {couples} like Invoice and Betty should contemplate every of the actual authorized regimes to find out whether or not and to what extent they apply to their particular state of affairs. Although normal prescriptions are tough to formulate, the primary level right here is that older age brings a number of new variables into the decision-making matrix.

With out minimizing all different concerns, if both associate anticipates a must entry Medicaid advantages to finance long-term care, nonmarriage might be the preferenced standing. Certainly, the influence of this variable alone will usually be so important financially that different marriagepreferencing legal guidelines are successfully negated or rendered moot. Whereas each companions in a wedding face critical potential publicity on this situation, older girls are at particularly heightened threat in the event that they conform to normal societal patterns of marrying older males and dwelling longer than males of the identical age. They might effectively need to comply with Professor John Miller’s trenchant recommendation to late-in-life {couples}: “keep away from marriage.”


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