As unmarried partners navigate the journey of life together, it is important to consider how to safeguard your shared assets and ensure a secure future.
Without proper estate planning, unexpected events can lead to unintended consequences.
1. Clear beneficiary designations
Designate beneficiaries on your financial accounts to avoid complications in the future. Ensure you list your partner as the beneficiary on life insurance policies, retirement accounts and any other relevant assets. This straightforward step can streamline the transfer of assets, providing your partner with rightful access without unnecessary delays.
2. Joint property ownership
Consider joint ownership of significant assets, such as real estate or bank accounts. Owning property jointly can simplify the transfer of ownership in the event of one partner’s passing. Be mindful of the type of joint ownership.
3. Living Will and Healthcare Proxy
Create a living will and designate a healthcare proxy to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Clearly outline your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care in the living will. Appointing a healthcare proxy ensures that your partner has the authority to make medical decisions that align with your wishes, preventing unnecessary stress during challenging times.
4. Power of attorney
Grant your partner power of attorney to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so. This legal document allows your partner to make decisions on your behalf, such as paying bills or accessing bank accounts. Choose someone you trust implicitly and discuss your preferences openly to ensure a smooth transition in case the need arises.
As one of the more than 20 million unmarried people cohabiting, you want to ensure that you and your partner’s wishes unfold as you both desire. Taking proactive steps through estate planning offers a solid solution.