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Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneyOur society is becoming more accepting of non-traditional families which means that many couples no longer feel pressured to get married before starting a life together. In fact, the number of live-in couples in the U.S. rose 25 percent from 2000 to 2010. If you are in a committed relationship with someone but you are not legally married, you may miss out on some of the legal protections and advantages provided through marriage, particularly those related to inheritances and estate planning. However, with some preparation, it is possible to create an accurate estate plan which reflects your wishes even if you are not married.

Create a Will

An important step for anyone is creating a last will and testament. It is especially crucial for unmarried couples to be deliberate about their wills. In order to ensure that your assets are passed to your significant other when you die, you must specifically name your partner as your beneficiary on all pensions, retirement accounts, and insurance policies. Some retirement accounts have rules against nonfamily beneficiaries, so double check with an estate planning attorney that you are able to legally name your partner on all necessary accounts. You may need to designate your significant other as your power of attorney and sign an advance care directive if you wish him or her to make decisions about health care and finances if you ever become unwell.

Correctly Title Your Property

Couples who live together and are not married are more legally vulnerable than married couples. For example, if you are sharing a home with your significant other and he or she passes away, you might not have the legal right to stay in the home. If both partners have contributed equally to purchasing a house, it may be simplest to title it in both names. If only one partner has purchased the house, account for this in a will or living trust.

Consider Creating a Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a document which can help protect each individual’s interests and assets when they are part of an unmarried couple. A cohabitation agreement can include arrangements the couple has made regarding property accumulated during the relationship, property obtained before the relationship, expenses, and what happens if the relationship ends.

Call Us for Help

Unmarried individuals are not offered the same types of protections and benefits under the law as those who marry, therefore, it is extremely important that they are intentional about estate planning choices. If you have questions or concerns about your estate plan, contact an experienced Lombard estate planning attorney today and get the guidance you need. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates.

 

Sources:

https://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/estate-planning-tips-unmarried-couples.aspx

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/mar/09/cohabitation-agreement-essential-non-married-couples

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