Estate Planning for Life Partners with or without Children
Not all couples choose to get married, but choosing to forgo estate planning when you’re together can be a big mistake. If you and your life partner are unmarried, whether or not you have children can make estate planning all the more important to do.
Why Estate Planning Matters for Unmarried Couples
When two people get married, their lives become legally entwined in a number of different ways. For example, if someone becomes incapacitated from a serious illness or injury, their spouse has a right to visit them in the hospital and even make important medical care decisions. When someone passes away, their spouse is usually automatically entitled to inherit half of the decedent’s separate property if there is no will to state otherwise.
Unmarried couples do not automatically share these rights, but they can gain them through proper estate planning. Assigning powers of attorney and a health care proxy can, for example, help someone ensure that their partner has the legal authority to manage their finances and medical care for them while they are in the hospital.
Unmarried partners can also look out for each other during the most difficult times by creating wills or establishing trusts. Without these documents, even an unmarried partner of several decades might not have any legal authority to any of their partner’s property. In a worst-case scenario, this can mean losing a house and access to other important assets if they were solely owned by a deceased life partner.
Unmarried Couples, Estate Planning & Children
If an unmarried couple has children – whether their own or from previous partners – estate planning can ensure that someone’s partner can assume legal guardianship if the worst should occur. Without planning for your children’s legal guardianship should you pass away, it’s possible that the court will decide to place your children with one of your blood relatives and not your partner.
Is It Time to Make a Plan?
If you and your partner for life haven’t factored each other into your respective estate plans, now is the time to do so. We never know when the plans we make for the future will become relevant, so it’s always best to make them ahead of time.
Unmarried couples can come to Aria Law PLLC for help if they need to ensure that they and their children are protected for the future.
Contact us online or call (210) 960-9996 to learn more.