You may think that you don’t need to worry about estate planning until after you are married, but estate planning for unmarried couples is just as important as it is for their married counterparts. Planning for the future and creating safeguards for the unforeseen is something that can benefit all couples who want to make sure that their partners and loved ones are taken care of.
There is no common law marriage in Michigan, so at death you are not going to inherit property or assets belonging to your partner, and your partner will not automatically receive your property and assets, without proper planning. Without at least a will, what you’ve built together may end up being distributed based on state law in ways you wouldn’t want or expect. Depending on your desire to avoid probate and the level of control you wish to exert over your assets and their distribution to beneficiaries, a revocable living trust may be an attractive alternative.
No matter how long you have stayed together, upon your disability or death your partner is not guaranteed to have the ability to get information or make decisions about your finances, health care, or even funeral arrangements. The proper legal documents may be the only way to ensure that your partner has the necessary access and authority.
If you are an unmarried couple, there are steps that you can take to make sure your assets go where you want and you have people in place to serve important roles for you in the event you are incapacitated. These are big decisions, and many other complexities like provisions for children can impact your planning. The attorneys at Wright Beamer are ready to guide couples, married and unmarried, through the process. Give us a call at 248.477.6300.