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Unmarried couples and estate planning considerations

Some unmarried couples in Florida may be interested to learn more about their options with respect to estate planning. Though there are important differences in the way estates are handled for married and unmarried couples, thsoe who have chosen not to marry may nevertheless be able to manage their affairs in a way that secures their well-being.

Unmarried couples may not be entitled to receive the same benefits that married couples are afforded in the event something unexpected takes place. For example, individuals involved in a long-term relationship may not be allowed to see one other in the hospital if one of them falls ill, and in some cases, cohabitants might not have any rights to the other's property if one of them passes away unexpectedly. On the other hand, these and other rights are typically provided to married couples without their needing to take special action to secure them.

That being said, unmarried couples might still have estate planning options that are worth exploring. For example, it may be possible to establish a revocable living trust that will allow grantors to plan how their assets are to be distributed whether they are married or not. Such a trust could conceivably allow someone to select whomever they want as their intended beneficiary. Similarly, people can grant powers of attorney and health care directives to those that they trust will take their preferences into account.

The protection and preservation of assets for a person's beneficiaries are the goals of a comprehensive estate plan. An attorney who has experience with these matters can often suggest a variety of documents and tools to meet a client's particular family and financial needs.

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