When it comes to estate planning, many people recognize the critical role that a spouse plays in one’s estate. For example, many people decide to name their spouse as the person to manage their estate in the event that they pass away, and people often hand over their assets to their spouse in the event of their death. However, some people question the importance of involving an unmarried partner in their estate plan and have various questions related to the process when they are not married to their partner.
First of all, creating an estate plan is especially important for those who have long-term partners they are not married to. If someone passes away, the lack of a legal marriage creates challenges with respect to the distribution of assets and a partner’s ability to step in and help make critical decisions regarding medical care at the end of one’s life. For example, some people wish for their assets to go to their partner after passing away, but without an estate plan the assets may be distributed among their relatives.
It is imperative to go over your options and the details of your estate with your partner if you decide to create a will or a trust. There are many factors to explore and the decisions that you make now will have a critical impact on the future of your estate and the person you love. We realize that the estate planning process is especially confusing for some people who are involved in a long-term partnership outside of marriage and we cover many other topics related to setting up an estate plan throughout our website.