For individuals of all ages and familial structures, it is important to have a comprehensive Houston estate plan for two reasons. First, it provides instructions regarding the distribution of someone’s hard-earned assets, ensuring that their property is distributed according to their desires. Second, an estate plan provides end-of-life instructions that can help ensure an individual’s last days can be spent peacefully. While an estate plans should be a priority for any individual or family, an estate plan is even more critical for those in long-term relationships with someone whom they are not married to.
For unmarried couples, if one partner dies without an estate plan the results can be disastrous. State law assumes and protects the interests of married partners by ensuring them part of the estate through communal property. Married partners also have the presumed right to make medical and other important decisions on behalf of their significant other. Unmarried couples on the other hand do not have the same sort of protection. If one partner dies or becomes incapacitated, the other partner can only inherit from their estate or make important decisions on their behalf if careful estate planning has not already taken place. Below is a list of estate planning tools that are useful for unmarried couples who want to protect and provide for one another.