Sugar Daddy or Gold Digger?
Love Litigation and Old People with Money
One of the more uncomfortable things for families is when an older adult finds a new love interest and goes all in. Throw in a significant age difference, an abbreviated courting period, a substantial wealth disparity and the antennas go up fast.
“Love and dating in our golden years occurs in an environment in which many older people have significant savings, while others are barely getting by,” said Attorney Doug Chalgian. “Women are especially at risk of being financially insecure as they age. This all contributes to the dating scene, and the fears families have about that. It’s complicated.”
Probably Not So Simple
“There are plenty of people who prey on older people with cognitive impairment (a.k.a., “vulnerable adults”). That said, many older people are fully competent and simply want companionship. These competent adults may be willing to make some compromises to avoid loneliness. Not so different really than people in other age groups, if you think about it,” Chalgian explains.
“Labels like ‘gold digger’ and ‘sugar daddy’ invite stereotypes that sometimes fit to some extent, but rarely tell the whole story of what is going on in a particular relationship.”
You may not like it but…
“One reality facing families who believe an older adult family member is being exploited by a love interest, is that if they act too aggressively they may force the older adult to choose. That doesn’t always turn out the way they expect. Family members need to keep in mind that the love interest has more frequent and continuous access to the older adult, and a greater ability to sell their side of the story.”
“If you push too hard and interfere too much, it may blow up on you. Older adults who become frustrated with family members who don’t accept their love interest are known to change their wills and trusts as a result,“ Chalgian cautions.
“Aging is a curious thing. We all come into aging with our own personalities, insecurities, and family dynamics. In my experience, what many of us expect to happen as we age, or how we expect our loved ones to age, is rarely how it actually plays out