You may not be married, but do not overlook the importance of estate planning with your life partner.
Especially if you have children together. You must begin your estate planning as soon as possible.
Do you know what happens to your life partner if you unexpectedly pass?
Nothing. The law does not provide spousal rights to unmarried couples.
It’s up to you to take action and plan for the future. If there’s no wedding in your future, no problem — But you do need an estate plan.
If you are injured in an accident and hospitalized, your loved ones may find themselves fighting for the right even to visit you at the hospital. They can be blocked from making important health decisions for you and your comfort and unable to support you during a difficult time.
That’s just your healthcare…
If you were to pass away without an adequate plan in place, your life partner could lose everything you owned. They can be evicted from your home or kept from your finances.
If there are minor children involved in the relationship, your children can even be removed from your life partner’s care.
If you are in an unmarried relationship, estate planning should NOT be optional.
Let’s make this process a little easier for you.
No! Unmarried couples do not have legal rights to property. Even is her name was on the mortgage and she was paying for the home, if the deed is in the deceased’s name the house will enter the probate courts and a judge will divide your assets.
Whether you are married or not, all couples should have separate wills. Many things can change in the future, and you likely won’t pass away at the same time. Children from previous marriages could get accidentally disinherited without a separate will including them. Most importantly, a separate will is much stronger in court.
Nothing. If you pass away without any sort of estate planning the surviving commonlaw spouse is not legally entitled to anything that you owned. Your estate will likely enter probate leaving your partner fight for the assets you would have wanted them to have.
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I couldn't more highly recommend Will Stafford, after working with him on my estate planning. Will took the time to genuinely understand my personal goals and values, and helped design a plan that was a perfect fit for me, rather than just using a cut-and-paste template.
Will Stafford is an incredibly bright and knowledgeable attorney who I have worked with for many years. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the estate and wealth planning strategies relevant to professionals with families.