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Estate planning for unmarried couples

In today's social climate, it much more common for couples to live together for long stretches of time before deciding whether to marry. Some choose to remain together and unmarried indefinitely. While this may not cause too many complications while both parties are still living, if one party dies or becomes incapacitated, then the other party may not receive any of their possessions from their estate. Typically, when a legally single person dies, their property passes on to direct relatives, depending on the intestacy laws that their state of residence uses.

If you live with your significant other and do not plan to get married, or if that is not on the table in the near future, it is still wise to create a will that outlines how you wish to distribute your property when you die. This may seem unnecessary if you do not have a large estate, but your property is still your property, and you deserve to determine who receives it.

Some couples may enjoy the freedom that not placing labels or boundaries on their relationship allows them. They may resist the idea of creating any sort of formal recognition of their union. It is important to understand that creating and amending a will is a relatively simple task that a person can complete easily. The benefits of establishing a will may greatly outweigh perceived freedoms that refusing to create a will offers.

Even if you are a single person just thinking about the next stages of life, it is never too early for a legal adult to create a will. The sooner that you outline your wishes for your property after you pass away, the sooner you can turn your attention more fully to the relationships and experiences that are right in front of you.

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