Marriage and Financial Exploitation

Saw this article yesterday about persons with dementia.  click here.

Lord I feel jaded.  I see an article about 90+ year olds finding love, and I automatically think “gold-digger.”  What’s wrong with me?

The reality though is that while marriage is an expression of love, and may address the loneliness that so often frequents elders; it is also a financial arrangement and unless proper planning is done (i.e., prenuptial agreement), marriage can be a form of financial exploitation.

I have been involved in too many cases where gold-diggers of either gender find a lonely vulnerable elder and through marriage are able to obtain at least a claim to substantial wealth.  Many of these cases involve common fact patterns: the vulnerable adult is cognitively impaired and may not be willing to accept that impairment; they are often depressed (the gold-digger frequently moves in after the death of a spouse of many decades); the marriage is quickly arranged and followed thereafter by manipulation, seclusion an alienation between the vulnerable adult and his/her family; and ultimately changes in the estate plan.

Marriage in late life can be a beautiful thing, but then again….