Estate Planning And Couples

Estate Planning, Family, Getting Started

Estate planning and couples is an important topic for all, whether you are married, unmarried, or in a same-sex relationship. Estate planning can be more critical for unmarried couples, as not having a plan could leave the surviving partner unable to make end-of-life or financial decisions for their loved one. It could also leave the surviving partner without an inheritance.

Estate planning for your spouse or partner might not seem romantic but can be a great act of love, showing your care for them beyond your own life. Consider also that if you do not make any provisions, the distribution of your assets will be decided by Texas state law. This can mean that your estate passes to your children, your parents, or even distant relatives. An unmarried spouse could be left without any inheritance after your death. Your loved one might even have to move out of a property you shared to buy out any relatives on your passing.

Do not take this chance and devise a good estate plan together with your other half. Estate planning can ensure that both of your wishes will be respected should one or both of you become incapacitated or pass away. The sooner you plan, the sooner your loved ones will be protected in any unforeseen circumstances. There is no better time to draw up a comprehensive estate plan than now. Ibekwe Law, PLLC can be by your side, ensuring a smooth process and a plan to work in your best interests. Contact us for a complimentary consultation now at 512-505-2753.

Estate Planning for Married Couples

Estate planning can be a difficult subject to breach as it reminds us of our mortality. Moreover, married couples could be tempted to skip estate planning, thinking that being married solves all inheritance issues. However, this is not necessarily the case. Estate planning can protect your spouse and children and be a great way to show your love and care.

Consider that estate planning can fulfill a number of purposes for married couples, including:

  • Ensure your spouse is provided for financially
  • Specify guardianship for minor children
  • Include provisions regarding personal healthcare preferences
  • Save your spouse from paying unnecessary taxes
  • Reduce legal fees
  • Detail any funeral planning

Estate planning can be important for married couples when there are any children from previous marriages. An experienced estate planning attorney at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can ensure that your estate plan withstands any legal challenges that may come from previous spouses or children.

Marital Property Considerations

Your marital assets typically entail any property you own together as a married couple, which can include:

  • A home and other real estate
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Cars, boats, or other vehicles
  • Co-owned businesses

When one of you dies, their share of marital property usually passes to the surviving spouse. If there are any assets that one of you would like to leave to any children upon passing, you can make such provisions in an estate plan. You should also discuss what happens in the event you both pass away at the same time and note down your wishes in your estate plan. Planning for any eventuality can be crucial, especially if you own businesses together. Contact Ibekwe Law, PLLC today to receive answers to your specific questions and concerns regarding estate planning for couples.

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

Estate planning can be crucial for unmarried couples living together, including same-sex couples. Although there have been some changes in recent years, unmarried partners are generally not protected by law. Unmarried couples, therefore, have to make an extra effort if they want to protect their loved ones. If you are in a relationship but not married, and you pass away unexpectedly, your loved one might end up with nothing and all your assets could go to blood relatives such as kids, siblings, or parents. Establishing an estate plan with a seasoned attorney is one of the most loving gestures unmarried partners can make to their other halves. Estate planning for cohabiting couples will most likely have to be far more extensive and comprehensive than for married couples and can include:

Beneficiary Designation

Make sure to designate each other as beneficiaries on bank accounts, life insurances, and retirement funds, if appropriate. If you do not do this, unmarried partners will not access any of these accounts and/or benefits.

Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy

Appointing a durable power of attorney for financial matters will be crucial for managing your affairs should you become incapacitated. A designated power of attorney can also ensure that all your bills are paid on time, potentially saving your partner many legal challenges and complex issues. Appointing an agent for healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated can be vital if you are not married. If you do not designate a healthcare agent, your family members could potentially shut your life partner out of any decisions regarding your medical treatments.

Joint Ownership of Property

Owning property jointly and with the right of survivorship can ensure that the home will pass to the surviving partner on your death.

Making a Last Will and Testament

Estate planning often begins with making a Last Will and Testament (will). Your will can determine who receives your assets after you pass away. If you have any minor children, your will can also name a guardian. A will can also determine the person handling the distribution of your estate, including filing your last tax return and closing your accounts.

Establishing a Revocable Trust

A revocable trust can be particularly beneficial for unmarried couples, as it can help to avoid probate. In a revocable trust, you can also name the person or persons who will manage your financial affairs should you become incapacitated or die.

These are just some of the provisions you could take when making a comprehensive estate plan as an unmarried couple. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help devise a personalized plan that legally protects you and your loved one.

Ibekwe Law, PLLC Can Help You and Your Significant Other

We understand that estate planning for couples can feel overwhelming. However, it is a necessary and loving step to help protect your life partner and your family, whether you are married or in a cohabitation relationship. Not making provisions can potentially lead to your loved one losing their home or experiencing financial hardship and struggle. A comprehensive estate plan can be a gift of love, and we can be here to ensure that your plan covers all eventualities and is legally sound. Contact our experienced estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC now for a free consultation: 512-505-2753.