The administration of assets and their appropriate designation upon a person’s death is known as estate planning. Married spouses will possess particular rights over each other’s property, and if there are no legal obstacles, the surviving spouse may take on the role of trustee.
Unmarried couples can participate in estate planning just like married couples do. The distinction is that they cannot freely decide on one other’s medical care and cannot automatically inherit assets from one another without a will.Here are some pointers to get you started if you and your spouse are thinking about estate planning.
Include your Spouse into your Will
You can specifically list your partner or other people as beneficiaries in your last will and testament. You can amend or cancel a will at any time while you are still alive. Your possessions are liable to intestacy if you don’t have a will. Assets are automatically transferred under intestate legislation to the surviving husband, children, and then extended relatives. Since the two of you do not have a civil union, your spouse is not entitled to share of your assets in the absence of a will.
Let’s imagine you both put a lot of effort into the house you both want your spouse to buy. Your surviving spouse may inherit your home or remain in it for as long as they choose if it is placed in a living trust.
Additionally, a shared tenancy can help minimize the need for several owners of the property to be named during probate procedures. The remaining titleholder inherits the home upon the death of one owner. However, there are complications, particularly if there is a mortgage on the home. If you decide on shared tenancy, you can get assistance from an attorney for professional counsel.
Be Ready for Unforeseen Situations likeIllness and Inability
It is possible for one of you to get ill and there is no guarantee that you will recover in time to complete your estate planning. Speak with some estate planning lawyers in Alexandria, VAfor help in safeguarding your property and assets.Unmarried partners can now make end-of-life medical decisions with the help of a power of attorney (POA), which is often reserved for married couples. Unmarried couples can also manage one other’s financial matters with the use of a durable power of attorney.
They are subject to intestacy legislation in the absence of the document. The estate’s assets, including real estate, financial holdings, and health-related assets, will pass to a blood relative. The probate court will designate a guardian in their place if there are no family members, which can be problematic if you don’t want a stranger handling your finances and belongings.
Name your Spouse as Beneficiary Payable upon Death
You can designate your spouse as a beneficiary of any bank account, insurance policy, IRA, or 401(k) that you may have. It supersedes the will and trust and assists in avoiding probate court. You can change your accounts to payable-on-death (POD) accounts by contacting your bank or credit union.
This implies you can designate anyone as a beneficiary, even your spouse, for your savings and checking accounts, savings bonds, security deposits, and financial certificates. All that is required to transfer your accounts to the designated beneficiary is for the surviving partner to provide identification and the death certificate from the institution.
Investigate Digital Estate Planning
You have more digital assets than just your pictures, videos, and papers. If you and your partner also use software to manage your financial accounts and make digital investments, you should compile a list and arrange your accounts in the appropriate order, beginning with login credentials.
In the past, estate planning relied solely on paper records. Typically, certain documents are stashed away in a folder, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, insurance policies, and others. You can digitize your account these days, and if you manage your finances online, you should let your lawyer know so that your estate can be settled in the future.
The following actions can be taken to plan your digital estate:
List all of your digital assets along with the access information. These are the data kept on hard drives, flash drives, tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices in addition to your desktop or laptop computer. Add a variety of accounts to your management, such as social media, gaming, websites, domain names, and intellectual property.
Give each digital asset a designation. You can give them to your partner, your close friends, or your personal family. Some of them can be archived, and the remainder can be removed. Make sure to determine which ones are worth money, then entrust them to a reliable person.
Identify a virtual executor. The person you trust should also know the basics of technology. Even though designating a digital executor does not bind you legally, you should nevertheless assign management of your digital assets to someone. In your will, choose a digital executor and provide the file location of each digital asset, allowing the executor to access it as needed.
Save digital data in a reliable, secure, and well-established online storage provider. Ensuring the robustness and security of your digital storage is another aspect of protecting your digital assets. Choose the right storage devices based on their capacity, interface, and brand.
Asset management is not limited to partnerships. Unmarried couples can now plan their financial future while living together and ultimately deciding to become legally married. The goal of these suggestions is to assist single couples in safeguarding their rights and acquired assets. To avoid problems down the road, it is best to begin planning today.