State laws love marriage, but planning can care for your partner

Your partner may mean the world to you, but the state can get hung up on marriage. That doesn’t mean they need to be left out in the cold if you haven’t tied the knot since a proper estate plan can make sure you take care of them long after you’re gone.

Unmarried adults over the age of 50 are living together in much larger numbers these days. The amount has rocketed up 75% since 2007, now at 4 million participants. While marriage may not be in the plans for late-in-life love, you can still plan to provide for your partner in the event that you pass away before them.

Continuing care

Dying without a will in place will leave your assets at the mercy of state law, so it’s best to form an estate plan now:

  • Accounting for retirement: Your partner could benefit from the money you’ve been setting aside all this time, but they may not get access without a will. You have all kinds of options for your monetary assets like pension plans and retirement funds, but they probably won’t see a dime unless you name them as a beneficiary.
  • Money in the bank: The money you’ve got on hand will likely pass by the will of the state unless you say otherwise. While you could look at options like joint bank accounts or timely transfers, an estate plan can handle these functions when the time is right.
  • Domestic assignments: Your estate will also include any property you, such as the roof over your head. Your partner may live there with you, but that won’t matter much when intestacy kicks in. Unless you’ve got joint tenancy set up, the house won’t pass to them unless you outline your wish for it to happen.

Marriage may not be in the cards, but you will want to set aside the proper documents. Once that rainy day comes when you’re no longer around for your partner, make sure you’re taking care of them when state law might decide otherwise.


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