Couples who have lived together for many years but are not married can face major problems when it comes to rights that an otherwise married couple would have. If an unmarried couple does not have a will or estate plan, they do not have legal rights to make medical decisions for the other or have no legal claim to the deceased's property.
We discuss in detail some of the potential difficulties that unmarried couples face, and some solutions to them.
Issues That Unmarried Couples Face If There Is No Will
Not every couple prefers marriage, and may be perfectly fine with their situation. However, not getting married can cause complications when it comes to their estate and loved ones.
- Difficult Choice for Loved Ones: Without a will, your children and partner will have to sort out your estate. The dispute could even land your loved ones in court to battle over who gets what.
- Your Partner Has No Legal Rights to Assets: By default, assets would usually go to a married spouse if someone passes away. Unless you explicitly mention your partner in your will, intestacy laws dictate that your assets go to children, grandchildren, or other family member.
Many of these major issues can be avoided with smart and thorough estate planning.
Avoid Complications with a Will or Trust
Creating a will and/or trust is one of the most effective ways to address the common issues that unmarried couples face. In your will, you can specify your partner as a beneficiary for your property and assets, choose a guardian for your minor children, and include any issues that you would want to be handled.
Our attorneys at Estate Law Partners, LLC can guide you through your options and help you create a comprehensive, customized estate plan that is unique to your situation.