Estate Planning for Domestic Partners, Non-Traditional Families, and Singles

It’s wedding season!  And it seems like everyone from the Royal Family to your best friends’ children are planning a wedding. But if you are single, happily sharing a home with a domestic partner, or part of a non-traditional family, you might feel a bit left out.  Take heart, despite the seemingly endless festivities, approximately half of America’s adult population is unmarried.

Estate Planning typically seems to focus on married couples and traditional families, but it is vital for singles to have a solid plan in place as well - in fact, it is even more important. This is because the default laws governing estates often work poorly for people without a legal spouse, and often do not adequately provide for a significant other or unmarried partner.  Without a trust or will in place, your loved ones may not receive anything after you die.

Probate Laws Favor Married Couples

Married or single, if you die without a will - referred to as intestate - all of your possessions will be distributed according to the default laws and probate guidelines of your state. Most state laws dictate that a married person’s assets go to their surviving spouse and children; however, this is not true for unmarried individuals. Generally, state law provides that a single person’s assets are passed on to their next of kin, i.e., children, parents, and siblings. Noticeably absent

are provisions providing for long-term partners, friends, and companions.  Additionally, if there are no surviving close relatives, the assets will likely go to the state.

Taxes, Titles, and Ownership

To control how your property and assets are distributed upon your passing, now is the time to think about how these items are legally titled and recorded.  We often meet unmarried, and newly-married, clients whose property titles are in disarray and may not reflect the needs of their current arrangement.  We can help sort out these details and make sure that wherever you are in life, and whoever you are with, your legal plan aligns with your specific intentions.

We can help sort out these details and make sure that wherever you are in life, and whoever you are with, your legal plan aligns with your specific intentions.

 Life Happens Fast!

One minute you may be blissfully single, and the next…. An attractive stranger at that wedding you didn’t want to attend offers you a glass of champagne… Cheers!  Enjoy life’s surprises, twists and turns.  A smart Estate Plan will help make sure every phase of your life is secure.

To learn more about creating an estate plan specific to you and your family,

 call us for a free initial consultation at

(707) 937-2701

 or email me at debra@decarlilaw.com

or - use our online calendar to schedule an appointment

https://calendly.com/decarlilaw/initial-consultation.

 

Categories: unmarried couples

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