Dear Annie: I am an 84-year-old woman in love with a 92-year-old man. Since I’m rather old-fashioned, I do not believe in living with him unless we are married. However, marrying him could change our financial status. Is there any service that could be performed so that we may live together legally and not impact our children’s legacy? – In Love
Dear In Love: Please discuss this with a lawyer who specializes in marital law. There are clergy who will perform religious marriage ceremonies that may not be legally binding, depending on the state you live in, whether you present yourselves as a married couple and whether your state recognizes this as a common-law marriage. (The same goes for any secular ceremony that pronounces you “married” without a valid state license. It could, in fact, be legally binding.) A lawyer also can discuss a prenup that will protect your assets for your children, allowing you to marry legally without worrying about your financial legacy.
Dear Annie: “Fed Up with Potluck” complained that one woman in her group of friends always insists that everyone bring a dish to their gatherings. Perhaps the reason is not financial, but something to do with health issues. It’s possible that this woman may have an illness or a health concern that she has not shared with everyone in the group. Perhaps she is simply unable to cook for such a large number of people.
Isn’t the point of getting together more about the social interaction and not so much about the eating? – 60-Something in Illinois
Dear Illinois: We don’t mind potluck dinners, whether someone feels up to cooking or not. But it is important that the other participants are aware that it is a potluck dinner at the time the invitations are issued and they volunteer to prepare something. Otherwise, it appears that they are being taken advantage of.