Often times older couples (usually widowers) do not think about what happens when they start living together in one of their houses. They agree that downsizing and living together will save money and make eachother happy. Not to marry but to cohabitate. Everything is great, you buy this, I’ll buy that.
One case in particular to share is an elderly couple we will call “ John and Debra”. Happily living together until sadly one day John unexpectedly passes away. John’s children from his first marriage come along and start demanding that Debra (the gold digger) move out of dad’s house. We learn that the last update to the Will was 1994. Now even though they have been living together for 8 years, Debra has found herself in a terrible situation. Having nothing in writing and no plans to protect Debra if John passes, the children can place her on the street. This is exactly what happened. They request that she move out. John’s children also claim that every material possession in the house belongs to their dad and Debra is not allowed to take anything. Nothing. Not even items they purchased together.
This is a time for Debra to grieve her loss. Instead she is looking for receipts from the past 8 years and find a place to live. Sadly she lives in fear until this is resolved because weekly John’s children are showing up trying to take items from the house she once shared and called home with her love.
How do you avoid this from happening to you?
Make sure you have a “Common Law Partner Agreement”. There is an increasing diversity of relationship structures among couples. Having a living together contract can help to clarify important issues and avoid problems down the road.
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