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Old 12-15-2016, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,738,878 times
Reputation: 47257

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My best friend is a 65 year old widow. Her 87 year old mother has been in assisted living for about 2 years. Mom has met a man in the ALF who lives in the unit next door. He is same age, widower. Both are not capable of living alone but not diagnosed with dementia but have early signs. The families of each have POA and handle all the mail, finances, taxes, etc and have for many years.

Old folks want to get married!!

They don't want to live together and are just fine with things how they stand. The rub is each one stands to lose significant income from survivor benefits, Social Security benefits, etc. My friend thinks she would be expected to meet the shortfall and while she is comfortable, she does not want to do that.

She talked to Dad's children and they feel the same way. Each family tried to show the older folks how much money they would lose if they got married but they refuse to or can't understand. Each did say they will not change their wills. So the children got together and hatched this plan.

My friend is a graphic artist and she said she would make up official papers (license and certificate), they would have a "ceremony" and let them think they are married. A family member would be the officiate. Is that so wrong?

Turns out another much younger couple in the facility did have a wedding ceremony in the dining room there and it brought much excitement and joy to everybody in the facility. Everybody thinks this couple is just trying to have the same.

I think it is a pretty good idea. None of the people involved are religious so that is not a problem. I think if it were me (old lady wanting to feel I was attached and cherished by someone) it would be fine.
What would you do if it was you or your parent?
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:45 AM
 
29,764 posts, read 34,851,819 times
Reputation: 11675
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
My best friend is a 65 year old widow. Her 87 year old mother has been in assisted living for about 2 years. Mom has met a man in the ALF who lives in the unit next door. He is same age, widower. Both are not capable of living alone but not diagnosed with dementia but have early signs. The families of each have POA and handle all the mail, finances, taxes, etc and have for many years.

Old folks want to get married!!

They don't want to live together and are just fine with things how they stand. The rub is each one stands to lose significant income from survivor benefits, Social Security benefits, etc. My friend thinks she would be expected to meet the shortfall and while she is comfortable, she does not want to do that.

She talked to Dad's children and they feel the same way. Each family tried to show the older folks how much money they would lose if they got married but they refuse to or can't understand. Each did say they will not change their wills. So the children got together and hatched this plan.

My friend is a graphic artist and she said she would make up official papers (license and certificate), they would have a "ceremony" and let them think they are married. A family member would be the officiate. Is that so wrong?

Turns out another much younger couple in the facility did have a wedding ceremony in the dining room there and it brought much excitement and joy to everybody in the facility. Everybody thinks this couple is just trying to have the same.

I think it is a pretty good idea. None of the people involved are religious so that is not a problem. I think if it were me (old lady wanting to feel I was attached and cherished by someone) it would be fine.
What would you do if it was you or your parent?
Just say no. My FIL met a lady in assisted living after his wife died. The eventually moved in with him which helped her stay. My wife and her sister each said no to marriage.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,095 posts, read 3,456,394 times
Reputation: 10153
You should not trick them.

If one or both of them are thought to be legally incompetent, one or both sets of children need to go before a judge, have a hearing and let the court decide.

If the children do not want to go to court over this, then the parents have a right to do what they want.

The suggestion to 'fake' the marriage license is illegal and unethical.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, California
118 posts, read 127,935 times
Reputation: 619
It sounds to me like they want to shout their love & happiness to everyone around and allow all present to share the joy. The ceremony you suggested will bring happiness to all, and acomplish their goal. Spend the extra $$ that they would lose on extra flowers, food & a string quartet.

Make it a wonderful, memorable day and wish them well for me.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:49 AM
 
897 posts, read 1,520,475 times
Reputation: 1875
If both "families" have POA and agree to this (in everyone's best interest) deception I don't see an issue. Will the facility go along with the rouse?
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:05 AM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,631,420 times
Reputation: 6685
Quote:
Originally Posted by caco54 View Post
If both "families" have POA and agree to this (in everyone's best interest) deception I don't see an issue. Will the facility go along with the rouse?
POA doesn't negate the parent's wishes, for what it's worth.

POA gives you the legal right to act for someone, to carry out the wishes they want you to do. (i.e. manage my bank account for me, sign this real estate deal)

It does not give you the right to make your decisions IN PLACE of the decisions they would make for themselves - unless the person is deemed incompetent (i.e. incapable of making any decisions).

I think this is all pretty shady. I think telling them that a legal marriage is not something you want for them and suggesting an alternate (a commitmment ceremony, etc..) is fine; but not lying and pretending they were married when they weren't.

Marriage comes with other benefits (like being able to have access to each other if they are sick) - it would be horrribly mean to pretend they were married, have one of them get ill and the other try to visit only to be denied access because they have no legal standing.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:09 AM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,631,420 times
Reputation: 6685
also:

Social Security benefits for remarried widows and widowers

"When a widow or widower, or a surviving ex-spouse, waits until age 60 or later to remarry, they preserve the right to collect Social Security benefits on their deceased spouse's earnings record."

I'm sure there are more specifics, but it is not necessarily true that remarrying at such an advanced age will necessarily adversely affect their social security income.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Seattle/Dahlonega
547 posts, read 388,030 times
Reputation: 1553
Boom
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:31 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,129,272 times
Reputation: 10910
This scenario is among the many reasons why filial responsibility laws are just wrong.

Such laws date from a time when there was no social security, elder poverty due to force majeure events was common, and succeeding generations tended to be better off. Those days are over forever.

Instead of preventing elder poverty these infernal laws will actually cause it for people who are now middle aged and younger.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,128 posts, read 12,376,133 times
Reputation: 13936
At there age whatever makes them happy.
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