Estate Planning Advice for Unmarried Couples
Cincinnati estate planning attorneys can help people with all different family situations to make a comprehensive plan that protects their own interests and that protects loved ones. Everyone should have an estate plan so they can control what happens to them at the end of their life and so they can control the legacy that they leave behind. In certain circumstances, however, it could be even more important to make an estate plan if the default laws that apply when you don’t have a plan would result in an outcome that is undesirable for you.
One example of a situation where making an estate plan is very important is if you are in a committed relationship with a partner who you are not married to. You want to do everything possible to protect your partner under these circumstances, especially as default laws will not recognize your partner’s relationship with you outside of the bounds of wedlock.
Zimmer Law Firm can help you to understand the types of steps that you should take to protect your partner and can provide you with comprehensive assistance in making effective use of legal tools to give your partner rights in case you get sick or if you pass away.
Why it is Important to Make an Estate Plan If You’re Not Married
Marriage confers legal rights on your romantic partner because your relationship is recognized by the state. When you get married to someone, that person becomes a default heir and has a right to an inheritance if you pass away without a will. In fact, you typically cannot even disinherit a spouse by leaving your husband or your wife out of your will; you’d have to be more proactive and take specific legal steps to disinherit your spouse. If you are not married, on the other hand, then other blood relatives like your children, parents or siblings would be the ones to inherit your property under the default laws if something happens to you.
Marriage also gives your spouse rights if you get sick. Your spouse would be allowed to visit you if you were in the hospital because your relationship is an official one. Your spouse could also be the person who makes medical decisions on your behalf and who the court appoints to act as your guardian if you haven’t made advanced directives or a power of attorney.
If you’re not married, however, your partner doesn’t have a legal relationship to point to and thus someone else – like a parent or another person with legal ties to you – could end up being the one who controls your affairs and decides your fate if you’re incapacitated without an advanced plan.
How Cincinnati Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help
Cincinnati estate planning attorneys can assist you in opting out of default laws and actually giving your partner the rights and responsibilities that you want him to have if you are not married. For example, you can create a will to ensure that you leave money to your partner. You could also use other estate planning tools to transfer your assets more quickly to your partner.
And, while you can transfer assets to your spouse without incurring estate tax, the same is not true if you have a larger estate and you are leaving assets to a partner whom you are not married to. You may need to use other estate planning tools to be able to protect your partner from losing a portion of inherited assets due to the estate having to pay a big tax bill.
Powers of attorney and advanced directives for medical care can also allow you to specify that your partner is the person who should be making decisions on your behalf and who should be asked about your medical care if something happens to you.
Getting Help from Cincinnati Estate Planning Attorneys
These are just some of many different legal tools that you may wish to consider using when you are not married and you want to protect the person who you love and are in a committed relationship with. Marriage is not the right choice for everyone and you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to get married just to protect your partner in case of incapacity or death. Zimmer Law Firm can help you to make the law work for you so you can create an appropriate plan to meet your needs.
To find out more about how we can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to get personalized advice from experienced estate planning attorneys at our firm.