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The last U.S. Census report showed that the number of couples living together without being married is at record levels. Estate planning can play an important role in protecting the assets of those who are living together in case they eventually split up.

Unmarried couples that plan to buy a home together need to decide first on the titling of the property. By titling the home as joint tenants with right of survivorship, both partners can own an equal share and if one partner dies, the home goes to the surviving partner. Partners can also execute a trust or contractual agreement that defines how the property will be treated in the case of a break-up.

There are other estate planning issues to consider if unmarried partners plan to stay in a committed relationship that can offer some of the same protections that legal marriage does, including the ability to pass on assets via a will or trust. Naming partners in advance health care directives is also imperative if you wish to grant each other access to medical records and have a say in treatments if one partner becomes incapacitated.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.