Why? The answer is simple. When the borrower on a reverse mortgage no longer lives in the home due to death, illness or sale, the loan becomes due and payable. As the elder spouse if you should die first, your partner would then have to figure out a way to payoff the loan. How would he or she handle that obligation? Would they have a large inheritance from you that would be enough to payoff the loan or would they be facing foreclosure and eviction. That’s the dilemna you could be placing them in if you chose to proceed as the sole borrower and asked them to deed their interest in the property to you. I don’t think that is ever a good idea even if it means more money now - and I recommend you talk with a knowledgeable, expert financial advisor or attorney. When a borrower is married, both spouses may be required to receive HECM Counseling even if one of them is currently not on title or planning to go off of title.
It is always imperative that you understand the obligations and terms of any real estate loan that you wish to become obligated to. Don’t be shy about asking hard questions and make sure you understand your responsibilities completely. Don't be rushed, and deal with a professional, ethical reverse mortgage professional.