Probate and the Unmarried Couple


Probate and the Unmarried Couple

How to Protect your partner in terms of probate when unmarried involves specific legal measures to ensure they're provided for in case of death or incapacity. Here are some options to consider:

1. Will Creation:

  • Draft a Will: Specify how assets should be distributed after death. In the absence of a will, the state determines asset distribution, often not in favor of unmarried partners.
  • Include Partner: Explicitly state your partner as a beneficiary in your will to ensure they inherit what you intend for them to receive.

2. Power of Attorney:

  • Medical Power of Attorney: Grant your partner the authority to make medical decisions if you're incapacitated.
  • Financial Power of Attorney: Allow your partner to manage your finances if necessary.

3. Beneficiary Designations:

  • Retirement Accounts & Life Insurance: Ensure your partner is listed as a beneficiary on these accounts.
  • Bank Accounts: Consider joint accounts or payable-on-death (POD) designations.

4. Trusts:

  • Revocable Living Trust: Transfer assets into a trust, specifying your partner as a beneficiary. This bypasses probate and ensures a smoother transfer of assets.

5. Cohabitation Agreement:

  • Consider drafting a legal agreement outlining property rights, responsibilities, and how assets should be divided if the relationship ends or in case of death.

6. Regular Review:

  • Update legal documents periodically, especially after major life events like buying property, changing jobs, or if there's a change in the relationship.

7. Consult an Attorney:

  • Seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in estate planning and probate laws to ensure all measures align with local laws and are legally binding.

Other Considerations:

  • State Laws: Laws vary by state and country, so it's crucial to understand the specific regulations that apply to your situation.
  • Documentation: Keep all documents organized and accessible, ensuring your partner knows where to find them in case of emergencies.

Dorsey's Realty Disclaimer -  Remember, consult with an attorney who specializes in probate and trust matters to ensure that the disclaimer meets the specific legal requirements and addresses the unique circumstances of your situation. This disclaimer is a general example and may need to be customized to fit the specific circumstances and legal requirements of the probate estate or trust you are dealing with. It is always advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. 

Contact your dedicated Certified Residential Real Estate Probate Specialist Fred Dorsey "Prince of Probate" to schedule a telephone conversation. 301.760.2178


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