Estate planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of marital status. However, unmarried couples face unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. Without the legal protections afforded to married couples, unmarried couples must take extra steps to ensure that their assets and wishes are protected.
If you’re part of an unmarried couple, contact us online or via phone at 817-899-3286 to learn more about the legal considerations from an estate planning perspective.
Here are five key legal considerations to keep in mind when it comes to estate planning for unmarried couples.
1. Create a Will or Trust
A Will or trust is essential for unmarried couples, as it ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Without a Will or trust, your assets may be distributed according to state law, which may not align with your preferences. Be sure to name your partner as a beneficiary or trustee to ensure that they receive your assets after your death.
2. Consider Joint Ownership
Joint ownership of assets, such as a home or bank account, can be an effective way for unmarried couples to ensure that their assets are transferred to their partner after their death. Joint ownership allows the surviving partner to avoid probate court and receive the assets directly.
3. Designate Beneficiaries
Unmarried couples should regularly review and update their beneficiary designations on financial accounts, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Designating your partner as a beneficiary ensures that they will receive the assets after your death, rather than unintended beneficiaries.
4. Consider Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney are legal documents that allow you to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. By creating powers of attorney for financial and medical matters, you can ensure that your partner can make decisions on your behalf if necessary.
5. Seek Professional Advice
Estate planning can be complex, and it’s important to seek professional advice to ensure that you’re making the best decisions for your family. Consider speaking with an estate planning attorney or financial advisor who can help you navigate the process and ensure that your estate plan aligns with your wishes.
Estate planning is essential for unmarried couples to protect their assets and ensure that their wishes are followed after they pass away. By creating a Will or trust, considering joint ownership, designating beneficiaries, creating powers of attorney, and seeking professional advice, unmarried couples can ensure that their assets are properly protected and distributed.
By taking these steps, you can provide yourself and your partner with peace of mind for the future.