Unmarried couples benefit from estate planning

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2017 | Estate Planning

Unmarried couples in Nevada and throughout the United States might not prioritize estate planning. The most common reasons people give for not doing so is not having children and not being married. It turns out that estate planning is just as important for people who are not married, especially if they are committed to their long-term relationship.

Without a will, a person dies intestate. This means that state law governs the distribution of that person’s assets. The first person to receive the assets of a deceased person is usually the spouse, but if the person was unmarried and without children, then the next beneficiary would be the person’s siblings, and after that his or her parents. In other words, the decedent’s partner would have no legal right to any of the assets. Therefore, estate planning is crucial for unmarried couples, because it allows them to make it clear to whom they wish to have their resources distributed after death.

Another important aspect of estate planning is having a health care power of attorney. Individuals’ long-term cohabiting partners have no right to make final medical decisions for their partners, should they become incapacitated, if they have not been given this power of attorney. Instead, they might have to fight their partner’s family in court for these rights.

Individuals who are not married and who want to make sure that their partners have the right to their assets and to make their medical decisions if they become incapacitated must prepare certain documents. After talking with their partners about their estate, these individuals might also benefit from discussing these plans with a lawyer.