woman signing document

Regardless of an individual’s marital status, anyone can create an estate plan. It can be even more essential for an unmarried couple to have an estate plan, compared to married spouses. Married couples are given legal rights to each other that unmarried couples do not have the benefits of. It is crucial to provide those rights to a partner by drafting a comprehensive estate plan if you are unmarried but in a relationship with your life partner. To begin this process, continue reading and reach out to our experienced estate planning attorney to learn how drafting an estate plan can benefit you and your partner.

Avoid Probate

Drafting an estate plan will help you to avoid probate by creating a living trust for yourself or a joint trust with your partner. Your partner can administer the estate as a successor trustee when you pass. You can also avoid your assets being controlled by intestacy laws in probate by naming your partner as a joint tenant. This will allow the property to be owned by two people. Your interest can automatically pass to the joint tenant.

Appoint Your Partner as Attorney-in-Fact

During the estate planning process, naming your partner as your power of attorney will gain them the right to make decisions on your behalf for certain financial or medical situations if you become unable to do so yourself. Your partner will also be given the right to make end-of-life decisions for you if you name them your health care proxy.

Should I create a digital estate plan?

It is becoming more common for individuals to create a digital estate plan rather than a written one. The benefit of this option is that a digital estate plan gathers any digital assets you may have. However, it is important to include instructions on how to access or dispose of the assets when you pass.

What is a pay-on-death beneficiary?

A pay-on-death beneficiary can take a copy of your death certificate to the bank which will allow the right to transfer funds or re-title an account into their own name. The benefit of this is for the beneficiary to have access to insurance policies, retirement plans, and bank accounts when their partner passes away.

Should I write a letter of instruction?

A letter of instruction is used to tell your partner how to manage your estate the way you intend for it to be taken care of. If your partner lacks the necessary knowledge of your finances or business dealing, it is crucial to write this letter as a part of your estate planning process to ensure your partner is able to carry out your final wishes.

Contact Our Firm

Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.