Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples
Many couples have fulfilling relationships with their loved one without ever going through the official process of marriage. However, the laws in Florida surrounding inheritance, healthcare, and other important aspects of estate planning were all crafted with legally married couples in mind. If you and your loved one are unmarried, it is important that you work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your wishes are adhered to, and your loved one is protected in your estate plan. At The Soto Law Office, our skilled lawyers are here to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation.
Inclusion in a Will
If a person dies without a will, their estate is distributed according to the rules of Florida intestacy. If a couple is unmarried, the other partner is shut out completely in intestacy and will inherit nothing from the estate. If each person has a will, they can name the other as a beneficiary to their estate to ensure that they inherit estate assets when the other passes. An experienced estate planning lawyer can explain how an estate can establish trusts and name an unmarried couple as beneficiaries to protect their right to inheritance in an estate plan.
Another important aspect of estate planning for unmarried couples relates to healthcare decisions. A healthcare surrogate identifies someone to make medical decisions on behalf of another in situations where that person is unable to communicate those choices themselves due to illness or injury. Without a healthcare surrogate, this decision-making ability is often granted by the court to a family member, even if a couple has been together for a long time. A healthcare surrogate form ensures that an unmarried couple retains the ability to make these choices on behalf of their loved one.
Power of Attorney
Related to healthcare surrogates, the last element of an estate plan for an unmarried couple is the power of attorney. This form designates a person to make all legal and financial decisions when someone cannot make them for themselves. Similar to a healthcare surrogate, without a power of attorney form, this power is often granted to a family member in situations where a couple is unmarried.
Talk to Our Office
To learn more about estate planning for unmarried couples, call or contact The Soto Law Office today.