Designated beneficiary rules grant unmarried pairs decision-making power in Colorado | VailDaily.com
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Designated beneficiary rules grant unmarried pairs decision-making power in Colorado

Claire Trageser
The Denver Post
Aaron Montoya/The Denver Post Debra "Liz" Gettings, left, and Patricia Vivien Yarrow plan to file designated beneficiary paperwork today
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Marilyn McCord likes to joke that she took the commandment “Love thy neighbor” to heart.

Twelve years ago, Don Anderson bought the house next door to McCord’s.

The two quickly became friends.

“He came over one night and spent the night, and he never left,” McCord said. “And I never minded.”

Now McCord, 68, and Anderson, 70, live in the same home and are committed to spending the rest of their lives together. But because McCord does not want to lose the Social Security benefits she has earned since the death of her husband, she and Anderson are not married.

That meant Colorado law would not recognize the couple as related in any way. They would have no hospital visitation rights, no right to make medical decisions for each other and no easy way to designate each other as beneficiaries in their wills or life-insurance plans.


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