If you are in love with another person but are not considering marriage, you might still want to live with your loved one and share some of the privileges of married life. Drafting a cohabitation agreement may help you and your partner protect your property rights and describe other obligations if you decide to live together. If you are older, having this kind of agreement may be of special importance.
Kiplinger explains the different issues that you as an older person may want to address in a cohabitation agreement.
Protect your assets
Older individuals usually have accumulated more assets and have more complex finances than younger adults. A cohabitation agreement may help you protect what you have earned over the years. Your agreement may explain how you and your partner will treat the property you own and any property the two of you acquire in the future. Additionally, you may describe what will happen to your property if one of you should die or if you end your relationship.
Establish financial support
Looking at your earning capacity at your older age is important since you might not make as much money as you did when you were younger, plus you might not have many earning years left. Consider discussing this subject with your partner. If one of you makes more money than the other, you may want to establish that the higher-earning partner contributes more to the relationship.
Also, think about who will contribute to retirement savings and how to divide up retirement accounts between you and your partner. You should also describe health care directives in your agreement. These will be critical if you or your partner suffer incapacitation due to injury or age.
Sort out familial responsibilities
If you have children with your partner or from a prior relationship, your agreement should discuss issues like how you will financially support your offspring. Your partner might also want to know that he or she is not responsible for children you have from other relationships. In addition, you could help your cohabitation agreement by writing a will or setting up a trust for your children to inherit from you.
Cohabitation agreements can address a variety of issues in a relationship no matter if you are young, middle-aged or older. Creating such an agreement may help you avoid legal problems if your relationship comes to an unexpected end.