Estate planning is a process that should be devised with the help of an estate planning attorney to be aligned with your individual needs. Every person has their own unique situation that should be evaluated as part of the estate planning process and of course, the priorities and strategies may look different for a married couple versus an unmarried person.
The laws are not the same for unmarried partners in the event of a break up or the death of the other partner. With appropriate planning in place guided by an estate planning lawyer, unmarried partners can put documents in place to support their intents for key issues like property division. A cohabitation agreement, for example, might address how the assets will be managed during the relationship but also in the event of one partner’s death.
These common priorities can be addressed even if you are not married. Even if you intend to get engaged and ultimately married to the same person it’s important to think about how you could accidentally expose you or them to unnecessary problems in court by failing to put together their estate plan. For example, waiting until you get married could leave you exposed for the entire length of your engagement. If something happens to you or your partner during this time, when documents like a durable power of attorney or a will could have proved helpful, this can add unnecessary stress and problems to an already difficult time.