Author Topic: Non-married couples - how do you set up plan for your eventual demise?  (Read 1280 times)

tygertygertyger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
Hello! My SO and I have been together for eight years, and have lived together for nearly four of those. I suppose it's possible we may get married one day, but neither of us is gunning for it right now. No plans to have children, but we have a big floofy dog that we adore.

I've known for a while that we should probably put some plans in place in case one of us dies, but so far we're still feeling mostly young and haven't done anything. We don't have combined finances, so the bare minimum that I'm currently pushing for is for both of us to update our beneficiaries on our various accounts. I don't think he ever added any beneficiaries to his, and I am just getting around to adding him to mine.

Beyond that, I'm guessing a medical power of attorney would be a good idea at some point, but I wanted to see - I know I've seen posts about other situations where a couple isn't planning to marry. How has anyone else navigated these waters and made your own plans?  What should I be thinking of or pushing for? Thanks!

shawndoggy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Get married and you get of lot of rights automatically.

Don’t get married and you can accomplish almost all you can do by being married, but you are going to need the help of a legal team. You will need a family law lawyer to put together an agreement with respect to property that would otherwise be community/marital. You will need an estate planning lawyer to put together wills / healthcare directives / powers of attorney. And then finally you are going to need to make sure the beneficiary designations on your life insurance / bank accts / investment accts are accurate and correct.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3479
What does your state say about common law marriages? You might not have to do anything. Assuming you are an opposite sex couple. If you are a same sex couple you should get married.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
My brother & his SO had wills & POAs drawn up about 20 years ago, but never updated them. When his SO unexpectedly died last summer, the will had problems because it was so out of date. Fortunately for him, they had married in the interim, which resolved some of the legal problems, but he could have avoided the expense of probate if the will was current.

A more pressing problem was that they had only named each other as power of attorney for health & financial matters as well as executor. My brother has major medical issues and is completely vulnerable without a POA. He has since updated his documents but at a time when he already had too much to deal with. So, ALWAYS name more than one person to serve for each function, in series, in case your first choice cannot or will not.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3641
What does your state say about common law marriages? You might not have to do anything. Assuming you are an opposite sex couple. If you are a same sex couple you should get married.

Even if your state recognizes common law marriage, someone could fight it down the line. It is best to register an affidavit if you are counting on those privileges.

For example, if your partner passes away, their mother could come along and state before a judge that neither of you believed in marriage, therefore the common law marriage provisions do not apply and she is next of kin and entitled to the estate in the absence of a will.

tygertygertyger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
Thanks for the responses so far. Our state doesn't recognize common law marriages. I don't foresee any family strife (famous last words, though, right?). We've seen several deaths in the last two months, some quite unexpected, and I'd like to make it as easy as possible for whoever is left.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3641
Thanks for the responses so far. Our state doesn't recognize common law marriages. I don't foresee any family strife (famous last words, though, right?). We've seen several deaths in the last two months, some quite unexpected, and I'd like to make it as easy as possible for whoever is left.

In that case, the same advice applies whether or not you are married:

Get all your paperwork done, signed and in a location to be found by the proper people at the proper time (ie, give your family a copy).

Consider pre paid funeral arrangements, just because you save the trouble of someone else making the arrangements.