More and more people are making a choice not to get married. Regardless, these couples often ask, “what happens if my partner dies and we’re not married?” Planning for life together without the legal protection of marriage means having an estate plan is even more critical.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Start with a Last Will and Testament

If you want to pass on property to your significant other, you must have a will. Otherwise, in most states, the property will pass on to the next of kin, regardless of how long the couple has been together.

Create Additional Estate Planning Documents

Without a healthcare proxy or financial power of attorney, your partner may not be allowed to make critical healthcare decisions for you. They may also not have access to financial accounts. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that investment accounts, insurance policies, and retirement funds have your partner listed as the beneficiary. Otherwise, even with a will, these distributions will likely go directly to the next of kin.

 Homeownership Is Another Area to Tackle

You will need documentation stating how the home is owned, who has the right to live in it, and who will be responsible for the tax payments and mortgage. Without these documents, the surviving partner may be evicted without the proper protections.

What happens after your significant other dies is a legitimate concern for all couples. There are special considerations for those that aren’t married. Contact our office today to get protection for each other now and in the future.


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