Would It Be Advisable Financially For My Uncles To Marry?


My Uncles, both in their late 80's, have been life partners since the mid 1980's. They are not married, and have no plans to marry. They both get Social Security checks. They receive about the same, and it adds up to around $30,000 per year. When one of them dies, will the other be eligible for any survivor's benefits? Would it be advisable financially for them to get married?


Does a Common Law Marriage Make Benefits Available?


I have a niece to whom I will be giving your updated book as she and her common law husband of 20+ years are approaching retirement age, and they really really need to read it (I already upgraded!). My question, on their behalf, is whether Social Security recognizes their union as "spousal." I know nothing of their finances but am concerned that by them not having that marriage certificate, they may be in for a rude awakening in the not-too-distant future should something happen to one of them, either through disability or death.