Estate Planning is Critical for Unmarried Couples! [video]
If you don’t want your long term partner to be penniless, estate planning is critical.
Hi. I’m Gary the founder of DeWitt law.
We got a call a few days ago from a lady who had lived with her long time boyfriend in his house. Her boyfriend died unexpectedly. Almost instantly, she lost everything he owned. His family kicked her out of the house that was only in his name. She had no access to his bank accounts. His family made sure she only left the house with her suitcase. I had to give her the bad news that I couldn’t do anything about it.
Under Arkansas law, only relatives inherit. If you aren’t related or married, then you get nothing.
My mother-in-law’s long term boyfriend had a stroke. The family basically told her not to come to the hospital. They hadn’t sat down and created powers of attorney naming each other. After he passed away, his family almost barged into the house they owned together to collect his belongings.
What makes this harder, is that Arkansas does not have common law marriage. This means no matter how you introduce your partner or how long you’ve lived together, you are not married in Arkansas unless you have a valid marriage license and ceremony.
It is critical if you want to provide for your partner that you create a plan. It is critical if you want to be able to get medical information or make decisions to create a plan.
You can setup a plan where your partner can stay in the house, but it still goes to your children in the long term. You can plan to leave your partner with the funds they’ll need.