Do Long-Time Partners Have a Legal Right to Inheritance?

Why Do Unmarried Couples Need Estate Planning?

Relationships and marriage can be a complicated thing, and with the divorce rate so high, many people simply decide to opt-out of the institution altogether. A piece of paper doesn’t make or break your love, right? Even though skipping marriage may not harm your actual relationship, the reality of the situation is people who never get married may find themselves in a difficult position, legally, if a partner passes away without an estate plan.

What would happen if you were unmarried and your partner dies before you? Even worse, what would happen if all your assets and property were solely under that person’s name? Would the law protect you? Would you be entitled to those assets and the life you helped build?

Unfortunately, the harsh answer to those questions is ‘no’. If you were unmarried and your partner owned all your property and accounts, in the eyes of the law, you are not entitled to any inheritance or legal protection.

Do I Need to be Married for Protection?

Many people choose to forgo marriage for a multitude of reasons, and this blog is not meant to persuade you otherwise. Each person has their own thoughts and ideas about the institution. However, if you and a significant other decide not to “tie the knot,” you must be aware of the legal consequences and make plans to protect each other’s financial future.

How Can Estate Planning Protect Unmarried People?

If you do not plan to marry but are in a serious relationship, a well-thought-out estate plan is a must. Drafting a living trust, a power of attorney, and a few other must-have documents are the only way to protect your significant other in the situation where one of you passes away. But if you are a person afraid of that type of commitment, do not worry, estate plans can be updated and changed, just in case you do eventual end that long-term relationship.

Contact Us Today For a FREE Consultation

Just because you are not married, doesn’t mean you and your partner should forgo an estate plan. Preparing for the future is something that goes beyond marriage because your relationship is still a relationship regardless of whether there is an official document involved. When you are ready to begin planning for the future, give our expert estate planning attorneys at Elder Law Services of California a call at (800) 403-6078 for a FREE Consultation. We look forward to working with you.

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Related Questions
  • Can you inherit from your partner if you’re not married?
  • Do unmarried couples need a will?
  • What happens if your domestic partner dies without a will?
  • What are unmarried partners’ rights after one dies?
  • What are unmarried couples’ rights after one of them dies?
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