Planning for Unmarried Couples

Unmarried couples of all ages are living together more and more frequently. Many seniors live together and remain unmarried, often after the death of a previous spouse. Seniors may not be comfortable marrying their new partner for a variety of reasons. However, they may also not know of the legal implications of remaining unmarried.

Trust-based planning works extraordinarily well for those with unique situations. Trusts allow unmarried couples to control their legacy, plan to leave a gift a certain way, as well as maintain control over what happens to their assets at death. Ultimately, trust-based planning allows you to decide what will happen to your resources when you want, the way you want, and how you want with the least professional fees possible.

Unmarried couples should also consider their Social Security benefits, as they will not have the option of electing to take the other’s pension. In married couples, a “non-breadwinner” can elect to take the Social Security benefit of a “breadwinning” spouse. However, unmarried couples do not have this option. Fortunately, with proper planning, unmarried couples may be able to purchase life insurance to make up for this deficiency in income. It’s important to explore these types of possibilities for your unique situation.

If you need assistance with planning for unmarried couples, or if you have questions about government assistance programs such as Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, or other Special Needs programs, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more through our website at, or call us at (919) 256-7000.

Attorney Bill Alexander discusses these issues and more every Tuesday morning on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen from 9:00-10:00 AM.