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How to Create an Estate Plan as an Unmarried Couple

How to Create an Estate Plan as an Unmarried Couple

Marriage, in many ways, provides couples with certain benefits they cannot obtain without it. For example, married couples can jointly file tax, collect each other’s inheritances, social security benefits, can pay hospital visits automatically, and even have their immigration status adjusted.

Unfortunately, life partners that choose to remain unmarried are not automatically granted access to these benefits. However, by creating an in-depth, comprehensive estate plan, you can secure plenty of rights that married couples enjoy. To learn more about creating an estate plan with your partner, read on and reach out to our experienced firm. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What does an “Attorney-in-Fact” do?

Durable Powers of Attorney are incredibly useful tools for unmarried couples who wish to create an estate plan. Durable Powers of Attorney allow individuals to give their partner certain rights to make key life decisions for them, should they ever become incapacitated.

Durable Powers of Attorney can enable people to make certain medical decisions for their partner if he or she is unable to do so him or herself. They can also give individuals the power to handle their partner’s finances in the event of incapacitation. You may also establish an Advance Directive for Health Care, which enables your partner to make key end-of-life decisions for you, such as whether or not to accept life-sustaining treatment.

Should I create a digital estate plan?

Your digital estate may be a bigger part of your overall estate than you know. You most likely have iPads, computers, online accounts containing personal or sensitive information, or even intellectual property stored electronically. To ensure the entirety of your estate is accounted for before your passing, you must establish a digital estate plan as well.

What is the purpose of a letter of instruction?

Letters of instruction are great ways for unmarried couples to document their wishes to be carried out upon their passing. In these letters, individuals inform their partners of various odds-and-ends, such as where certain assets are located or hidden, passwords or passcodes to safes or online accounts, potential bills that need to be addressed, and more.

If you and your partner believe you are ready to draft an estate plan together, we are ready to help. Our firm has years of effectively coaching couples through the estate planning process, so why not put that experience to work for you?

Contact our experienced New York firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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