Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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Estate planning for unmarried couples is important

If you and your significant other in California have made the choice to live together but not to get married, you are far from alone. Data from the United States Census Bureau indicate that in the first decade of this century, the number of couples making this decision increased by 25 percent. There are many reasons people may want to share a life and a home together without formalizing their commitment by marriage but they should be aware of the increased need for attention to an estate plan due to the lack of natural protection for them.

A legal spouse commonly enjoys many financial and decision-making benefits that would not be equally enjoyed by an unmarried partner without clear documentation. Take, for example, the case in which your partner is the named owner on the home you share. If they die, you may have no legal right to stay in that house whereas a legal wife or husband might have such a right. This is just one reason that Bankrate recommends unmarried couples living together create either a will or a revocable living trust.

In the event that one of you becomes unable to make medical or financial decisions for yourself, an advanced health care directive and a durable power of attorney may respectively allow the other partner to do so. In addition to a will or trust, all accounts with beneficiaries should be updated to name your partner as the beneficiary.

If you would like to learn more about how you and your partner might be able to provide for each other even after one of you dies, please feel free to visit the estate planning for couples living together page of our California wills and trusts website.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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Del Mar, CA 92014

Phone: 858-356-4568
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Phone: 760-712-3889
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