It is very important that unmarried partners have validly executed estate documents to avoid loved ones being executed from their loved one’s respective estate. The most simple strategy would be to include your partner as primary beneficiary on various accounts such as pensions, IRAs, and other financial accounts. Furthermore, including your partner as joint account holder on checking and savings accounts will ensure your partner will receive these assets upon your passing. You can also name your partner as beneficiary on a payable on death (POD) banking or checking account to ensure your loved one receives these assets when you pass.
One should also consider placing your partner on your deed if you own real property. While only married couples can take property as tenants by the entirety, by naming your partner on the deed as joint tenant with right of survivorship (JTWROS), you can ensure that your partner will receive title in full upon your death without the need for probate.
Finally, if you do not have a validly executed will, the laws of intestacy would control, and your unmarried partner would not be entitled to any portion of your estate that would have to go through administration in the Surrogate’s Court. That is why you need to have a Will if you have an unmarried partner, so as to ensure your wishes are carried out and that partner receives their fair share of your estate.
Should you have further questions on drafting your will or other aspects of estate planning, please contact the Law Offices of Michael W. Alpert, Esq. at 631-225-4603 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org