Estate planning is often undertaken by families or spouses who share a lot of assets or property and want to ensure that everything is passed down correctly. However, unmarried couples who have been together for many years or share important assets may still wish to estate plan together. If you want to make sure that your partner is taken care of in the case of your incapacitation or death, there are a few estate planning must-haves for unmarried couples. Your attorney at The Millman Law Group can recommend the best documents for your specific situation, but the following three documents are often ones that will help you navigate potential future scenarios.
A Will or Trust
A will determines how your estate will be transferred when you pass away and who receives what. You can also accomplish these same goals with a trust, plus a trust can help your beneficiaries avoid the lengthy and costly probate process. When using your will, you can list your partner as a beneficiary to make sure they receive the assets you want them to. If you fail to create a will or name your beneficiaries, the laws do not protect unmarried couples and will not automatically give your partner priority or any portion of your estate.
A revocable living trust can also protect your interests if you put the title of the assets in the trust’s name. Many individuals prefer revocable living trusts, as they can reduce the court’s involvement in settling your estate and keep more of your financial affairs private.
Advance Directive for Health Care Decisions
An advance directive gives explicit instructions about end-of-life decisions if you have specific concerns. For instance, if you do not want to be supported by life-sustaining equipment if there is no hope of recovery, you can state this in the directive. These documents help make sure your partner is clear about your wishes and will not have to worry about what choice you would have made.
Directives are estate planning must-haves for unmarried couples because when you list your partner on this document, you can give them the authority to follow your directions. This can help bypass family members who may have their own opinions about what you would have wanted.
Financial Power of Attorney
Without power of attorney, your unmarried partner cannot make financial decisions or sign paperwork for you if you become sick or incapacitated. Whether they need to make short-term or long-term decisions for your finances, you want this transition to be as easy as possible. If you are seriously injured or dealing with a long-term illness, empowering your partner to take action is much easier with this document.
Why Unmarried Couples Need Estate Planning
Estate planning is crucial for unmarried couples because the default decisions of the law will not favor the unmarried partner above family members when giving out various powers. For instance, your partner would not be automatically given the right to be your healthcare proxy, manage your finances, or gain access to some healthcare information. Start estate planning today if you want to thoroughly prepare for the future.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs Trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.