According to US News, the number of U.S. households headed by a married couple has steadily declined since 1949. Today, the states with the highest number of unmarried households consist of the following:
- New Hampshire
If you live with your partner and aren’t married, then you have unique estate planning needs. Unfortunately, while all states have laws in place to protect married couples, no state has similar laws to protect unmarried couples. Consequently, you and your partner need to address your estate planning issues, preferably sooner than later.
Here are some ways to ensure that your partner inherits your assets when you die:
- Last Will and Testament designating your partner as the person who will inherit from you
- Joint ownership of property with right of survivorship
- Appropriate beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc.
- Appropriate payable on death or transfer on death designations on solely-owned property, such as bank accounts, vehicles, etc.
Better Solution: A Joint Living Trust
While all of the above are perfectly acceptable ways in which to protect your partner when you die, a joint revocable living trust can do the same things in a simpler and likely less expensive manner. It also protects both of you during your respective lifetimes.
Another great advantage of a joint living trust is that whatever assets you and your partner place into it avoid probate when one or both of you dies. Instead, the trust assets pass directly to your designated beneficiary or beneficiaries.
One of the most important things to remember when establishing a joint living trust is to retitle the assets in the name of the trust that you use for funding.
There are many benefits to having ajoint revocable living trust. Here are some of the benefits a joint revocable living trust provides:
- Allows you and your partner to name yourselves as trustees
- Allows you to designate a successor trustee in the event one or both of you becomes seriously injured, disabled, mentally incapacitated or dies
- Allows you both to remain in control of your assets during your respective lifetimes while keeping all of your options open
- Safeguards you both from creditors and solicitors
- Ensures the proper use of your assets
- Can provide for children from prior relationships
- Gives you security and peace of mind
Necessary Legal Help
As you might expect, your joint revocable living trust needs to conform to not only federal law, but also the laws of your state. That’s where AmeriEstate Legal Plan, Inc. comes in. Our highly knowledgeable representatives will be more than happy to answer all your estate planning questions and start you on your way to protecting both you and your partner through your own joint revocable living trust. Give us a call today!