Estate plans often involve taking steps to transfer assets to beneficiaries who are relatives — spouses naming each other in their respective wills is commonplace in Arizona. However, no rule states that someone cannot leave assets to a partner they are not married to. A testator can leave assets to whom they wish, including unmarried partners. Devising an estate plan could work for the benefit of all involved.
Estate Plans and Unmarried Couples: A Personalized Approach
Scenario 1: The Divorcee’s Dilemma
Imagine Jane, who went through a challenging divorce and has found happiness with a new partner. Having learned from her past experiences, she decides against remarriage but wants to ensure her current partner is taken care of in the event of her passing. By working with Pennington Law, PLLC, Jane can create a tailored estate plan that designates specific assets to her partner without the need for marriage.
Scenario 2: Navigating Legal Constraints
John and Sarah are deeply committed but find themselves unable to marry due to ongoing divorce proceedings. They want to secure each other’s financial future without complicating their legal situation. With expert guidance from Pennington Law, PLLC, they explore options like transfer on death (TOD) designations, allowing seamless asset transfer outside of probate.
Other Estate Planning Considerations
There are several reasons why couples may prefer not to marry. Persons who went through a previous divorce might wish to avoid marrying again. Others may be involved in divorce proceedings and cannot legally marry. Regardless of the circumstances, someone may want to bequeath a partner certain assets. Someone may not wish to name a person they are not married to on the title of a house they own nor name them a joint owner of a checking or brokerage account. However, putting such assets in a will may be preferable.
Scenario 3: Trusting in Control
Michael and Emily, a couple in their 50s, have accumulated significant assets. They are concerned about the complexities of probate and wish to maintain control over their estate distribution. Pennington Law, PLLC advises them on establishing a revocable trust, providing a structured and controlled means of asset management after their passing.
Scenario 4: Empowering Decision-Making
Estate planning is not always about writing a will. In fact, some might prefer to draw up a revocable or irrevocable trust instead. A trust would give the grantor more control over the management of the assets after their passing.
Scenario 5: Ensuring Care and Decisions
Mark and Jessica, a couple in their 40s, recognize the importance of healthcare decisions in their estate plan. Pennington Law, PLLC assists them in designating power of attorney and devising a healthcare proxy. This ensures that if one partner is better suited for decision-making, their wishes will be honored, and both partners’ interests will be safeguarded.
Contact Pennington Law, PLLC Today
Contact Pennington Law, PLLC today for expert guidance on estate planning tailored to the unique needs of unmarried couples in Surprise, Sun City West, Peoria, Goodyear, Buckeye, and the surrounding areas. Whether it’s navigating legal complexities, establishing trusts, or empowering decision-making, their experienced team is ready to create a personalized estate plan that addresses the specific concerns of unmarried couples.