I am 34, my boyfriend is 45. We are both educated people. We've been dating for almost 5 months. He is currently in a rather unique situation. About 4 years ago, he met an elderly women he met at a conference where he was a speaker. She got to know him and trust him, and wound up asking him if he would be her guardian and take care of her when she needed it. She agreed to pay him a salary. Coincidentally, a few weeks later she fell and broke her hip which limited her independence. She moved into an assisted living type situation and he had an apartment nearby. About 2 years ago, they moved to my city and actually bought a condo together. She paid for most of it, and he paid for some of it. At any rate, the condo is owned by them jointly with 'right of survivorship' and it is paid off. This woman, who is now 84, was very good with her money and makes over 100,000 per year. She also bought the condo next door, and had a caregiver move-in to help take care of her. That condo is also under right of survivorship. So if the lady dies, my boyfriend takes ownership of both condos. And if he dies, vice versa. My boyfriend lives on the top level, and the elderly lady lives on the bottom level. She doesn't enter his space. The caregiver accesses the lady's lower level apartment through the garage door. She is still competent. He is her financial and medical POA. The situation has complications. The lady's son apparently is very resentful that she asked my boyfriend to be the guardian instead of him, and constantly tries to stir up trouble, make false DSS reports, etc. At any rate, my boyfriend said that when he gets married, his wife will have to live with him in the condo since that's his job and he has to be there at night. He is very clear that he made a committment and will keep it 'until she dies or until I die'. His schedule is that he cooks for this lady monday through thursday, breakfast lunch and dinner, and her schedule can be sporadic. So basically he is tied to the house from 7am to 9pm (if her dinner goes late) and by that time he's exhausted. He does get weekends off. But, he is always 'on call' if you will, in case there is an emergency. He has 3 hired caregivers, so he is able to get breaks and vacation. One complication is that the caregiver next door is somehow under the impression that she will 'get the house' when the elderly lady dies. This is not true, but the elderly lady has been showing some cognitive deficits so I wouldn't be surprised if she said something like this in a disoriented state. The issue at hand is that my boyfriend said he would expect his wife to live with him in the condo because that's his job and he has to live there. He says he wants marriage and kids, and said that his current committment won't stand in the way of him having that. I own my own home. My dilemma is that if I moved in with him I would have no legal rights to the house if something happened to him or he died. I'd have to move out. He mentioned that he would get life insurance to make sure I was taken care of, and that I could always move back into my home. This would mean that I'd have to keep my home and continue either paying a mortgage or having renters in it, which I'm not too keen on. The other issue is that I don't particularly like the place he lives. There is absolutely no room for any of my stuff, there are a gazillion stairs to enter the condo, there is no yard at all for a kid to play in, and we have to sacrifice some privacy with the caregiver needing to access the elderly lady's space every day. We can hear the door opening and we can't really have a private conversation in certain areas of the house.. The neighborhood is a retirement community where lots of older folks live.
I love my boyfriend. He is a wonderful person and the best relationship I've ever had (and I've had a lot). We are extremely similar in values and compatibility (we both have master's degrees in the same field), and I don't want to lose him. I guess I am just looking for some advice on what legalities I need to be aware of in this situation. For example, if he dies and I keep my house, since he is her guardian, could her family somehow come after me or my house? I was pretty upset and crying after our conversation, and he said we would work it out in a way where we are both comfortable. I just don't see how I could truly feel 'at home' in a place that's not really my home and where I have no legal rights, but maybe I'm being narrow-minded. I really, really want to find a way to make it work but it seems like it could be a very complicated situation. I would love any thoughts on this. Thanks!