96-Year-Old Woman Marries, Lawsuit Filed Over Legitimacy and Estate

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Sep 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

While you may fall in love at any age, getting married at some ages can raise legal questions. Those who are under 18 are unable to get married without parental permission. A recent case involving the marriage of a 96-year-old woman raises questions about the age of consent for older adults. According to the Associated Press, a legal dispute has arisen between the 96-year-old woman's daughter and sister who took their mother to marry her 95-year-old husband. According to the attorney on behalf of the daughter, the woman had been declared legally incapacitated and that the other sister's decision to facilitate the decision was improper, therefore nullifying the marriage.

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An Alabama Public Radio reportdetails the facts of the case involving a dispute over real estate, personal property, as well as the costs of care and living for the elderly woman. Our Alabama divorce attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to protect the rights of clients and their loved ones. We will take the time to review the facts of any case, identify your objectives, and determine the best course of action to achieve optimal results. Our attorneys are committed to providing strategic representation and to staying abreast of family law legal trends in Alabama and nationwide.

For children with ailing parents, caretaking may involve personal and medical care as well as financial planning. Watching an elderly parent get married without full capacity can threaten financial stability. At the same time, you don't want to take away your parents' rights or choices in old age. In this case, the judge did rule that the process of the marriage was improper, but he did not want to nullify the marriage or break up the marriage. Rather than strip away the marital right, he decided to remove both daughters as legal guardians and assign an attorney. The new attorney has the task of investigating the marriage and taking necessary action to protect the interests of the 96-year-old newlywed.

If after an investigation, the attorney finds the marriage is not benefiting the woman or her estate, she will pursue either a divorce or an annulment on behalf of the elderly woman. In an interview, the attorney stated that she would not end the marriage unless she found damaging information. In this case, a post-nuptial agreement would deny the husband access to the estate; however, the attorney stated that if the marriage is beneficial, then the new husband should have equal access to the estate.

According to the report, the couple met over 10 years ago while buying lottery tickets. One of the tickets was a winner and the two have been together ever since. The couple was married earlier this year and are the oldest interracial married couple in the country. With the aging population in the United States, it is not unlikely that there will be future disputes involving marriage and older adults, especially the elderly who may be vulnerable to financial exploitation.

Contact Birmingham divorce and family law attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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