1 min read

Estate Planning Considerations for Domestic Partners

Planning for unmarried domestic partners is in many ways  similar to the planning done for married couples. However, Ohio does not have the same protections for domestic partners as they do for married couples.  Therefore, it is up to the domestic partner to seek out legal advice and put those protections into place. Without effective legal planning, the desire of unmarried domestic partners to take care of each other both during life and at death can be frustrated.

For domestic partners, whether they’re a same sex couple or a man and woman who choose not to marry, estate planning is crucial. An estate plan outlines directives regarding financial concerns, asset ownership and distribution, and health care decisions while one is incapacitated or at death. Domestic partners need the same pertinent documents as married couples, including wills, revocable living trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills and durable health-care powers of attorney. Unlike married couples, without these documents, a domestic partner has no legal rights.

Domestic partners don’t have the same legal safety net to fall back on that married couples do. If nothing is in place, Ohio’s law of descent and distribution allows assets to flow to the surviving spouse. That’s not at all true for domestic partners. They can’t count on their assets being distributed to their partner.

Estate planning gives domestic partners control over decisions regarding their assets, finances, child custody and health care. Some tools also protect privacy by avoiding lengthy court proceedings and help to fend off family challenges to personal decisions.

For additional information on these estate planning principles, please click on the following links:

Probate Process

Revocable Living Trusts

 Power of Attorney and Estate Tax

Health Care Power of Attorney and Funeral Decisions

This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Updating a Will after Divorce

1 min read

Updating a Will after Divorce

Divorce is not something people expect to occur in their lifetime, but unfortunately divorce happens to many married couples. The divorce process can...

Read More

Health Care Power of Attorney and Funeral Decisions for Domestic Partners

With a durable health care power of attorney, you can name anyone to make your health care decisions when you are unable to. Blood relatives have no...

Read More