Even though same-sex marriage is now legal in California, not every couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, will choose to get married. California law does not adequately provide the necessary protection needed for domestic partners and unmarried couples. Nor does it favor beloved friends and caretakers over direct family members when no estate planning devices are in place. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney who understands the needs of domestic partners and unmarried couples is the best way to put these necessary protection in place.
Estate Planning for Domestic Partners Services
Domestic partners and unmarried couples who wish to designate a friend or caretaker to oversee their estate or to be their beneficiary should work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney who knows the unique needs of these clients. When you understand your rights and how to plan your estate accordingly, it can be a huge relief to know that your wishes will be honored regardless of your marital status. Furthermore, planning for domestic partners and unmarried couples can include providing information on tax issues, business planning, and other estate planning strategies that help domestic partners and unmarried couples plan for their future. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide a variety of strategies to help unmarried couples and domestic partners, including:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Wills and trusts that provide for the people you choose
- Co-tenant agreements
- Cohabitation agreements
These documents can help protect you and your partner. Ensuring that personal assets are protected and your end-of-life wishes are carried out can be part of an estate plan for domestic partners and unmarried couples. It is especially important for domestic partners and unmarried couples to have proper wills and trusts in place if they wish to leave property to their partner. Without a will, the state will decide who is going to receive the property of the deceased partner. Without proper estate planning, property may be given to parents, siblings, or even unknown relatives. The survivor of an unmarried couple may not have any right to inherit from their partner’s estate unless proper planning is in place.
Now is the time to protect your loved ones. If you are part of a domestic partnership or an unmarried couple, The Law Offices of Eric A. Rudolph P.C. can help you plan your estate.