Redding, California, Law Blog

3 simple ways to establish an estate plan as an unmarried couple

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2023 | estate planning

Estate planning is an essential process that ensures your assets are protected in California, and it also ensures that they are distributed according to your wishes. Many people assume that estate plans are only necessary for married couples. That’s not the case. Estate planning is also essential for unmarried couples because this process can help to avoid many problems down the road. Here are three tips to establish an effective estate plan as an unmarried couple.

Create a cohabitation agreement

If you haven’t established a cohabitation agreement with your partner yet, now’s the time to do that. A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that outlines your rights and responsibilities in an unmarried relationship. The cohabitation agreement can address issues, such as property ownership, financial obligations, and inheritances.

Designate your beneficiaries

If you and your partner are creating your estate planning documents, it’s important to designate your beneficiaries. Making these designations can reduce problems with inheriting assets, such as bank accounts, investment accounts, and life insurance policies.

It’s especially important that you name each other as beneficiaries. Naming your partner as the beneficiary ensures that they receive the benefits directly. This step can help you both avoid potential complications and delays.

Establish important directives

If you want to protect you and your partner, an advanced directive should be included in your estate plans. Advanced directives can give each of you the power you need should either of you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions. When constructing these documents, you must include medical and durable Powers of Attorney.

Estate planning is an important step in planning for the future. a well-constructed estate plan creates a road map that can reduce stress should one of you passes away.