It is a common question for estate planning lawyers about whether or not an unmarried couple can benefit from estate planning. Unmarried couples without children might assume that there are relatively few benefits for them to meet with an estate planning lawyer and taking this important next step. However, it is just as important for unmarried couples to understand their rights and to craft an individualized estate plan for their needs.
Skipping out on these planning options can make things difficult for one of you if the other gets sick or suddenly passes away. It might seem like the easy route to wait until you’re married, but you don’t want to put your partner in the difficult position of trying to get access to you after an emergency or make financial decisions for you. Without the right documents, they might be blocked from doing so or they’d have to go to court.
There are protections that married couples have that unmarried couples do not, and you do not want to find yourself in the situation of learning this the hard way in the midst of that challenging circumstance.
One of the best ways to address these concerns is to meet with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer as an unmarried couple. Although you might not go through the entirety of the same process as a married couple does, this can be an eye-opening exercise for preparing you for your next steps and giving you clarity on how to protect your interests.
For example, imagine that as an unmarried couple, including those engaged to be married but who have not yet become legally wed, one of you becomes sick and wants the other to make medical decisions for them. Without estate planning documents that make this possible, you may be unable to step in during this critical time and make those decisions for your loved one. Consult a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in the Pasadena area to learn more about this process and what to expect.