As recently as 2010, approximately 15 million people live together as an unmarried couple (Nolo.com). Couples choose to live together rather than get married for a variety of reasons. However, if you’re one of these cohabitating couples, you need to realize that you don’t have as many of the rights and protections as married couples have. Therefore, you need to protect yourself and your partner by setting up legal documents. One of those documents is a will.
Why Unmarried Couples Need a Will
Thanks to community property laws in many states, if you’re married and die without a will, most of your assets will pass to your spouse. (This may still be a messy, long process without a will. Therefore, even if you’re married, make sure you have a will in place.)
However, if you live together, and you die without a will, all of your assets will likely go to your nearest family members, whether that be children, if you have them, or parents or siblings. Your partner will not get the assets.
That is just one of the reasons why unmarried couples need a will.
Designate Assets to Your Partner
As mentioned above, if you want your partner to get some or all of your assets, you must create a will stating that. The courts will not naturally give your partner assets as they would if you were married.
Divide Your Assets As You Wish
You may want to give 75% of your assets to your partner and 25% to your brother. Creating a will lets you clearly designate your wishes for splitting assets. This helps your heirs avoid a costly legal battle. To keep the peace after your death, make sure before your death to let your partner know how you are planning to divide your assets.
Remember to verify that your beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, life insurance, and bank accounts also match with the designation you have made in your will.
Designate Your Funeral Wishes
Photo by michal dziekonski on Unsplash
A will also gives you the opportunity to designate your funeral wishes. For instance, if you live in Maine but your family of origin lives in Oregon, your partner and family may argue as to where you’ll be buried, if you chose that route. You can state your preference in your will. Then there will be no argument between your partner and your extended family.
One Last Consideration
A will states what will happen to your assets after you pass. Remember, though, if you’re incapacitated before you die, your partner will legally not have a say in your course of treatment. That right will go to your nearest relatives.
To remedy this situation, consider giving your partner durable power of attorney over health care. That gives your partner the right to make decisions on your behalf.
More and more Americans choose to live together rather than marrying. If this is the route you’ve chosen, make sure you create a will to protect your partner when you pass a way and vice versa.
The Importance of Drawing Up a Will
Looking for Your First Apartment Together
Risks of Buying a Home as an Unmarried Couple
The post Reasons Why Unmarried Couples Need a Will appeared first on Dinks Finance.
By: Melissa Batai
Title: Reasons Why Unmarried Couples Need a Will
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogger/mELS/~3/Z39igamg00o/
Published Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 15:56:50 +0000
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