Estate planning is often associated with married couples, but it’s just as crucial for couples who are not married. Whether you’re cohabitating — with or without children — or sharing real estate, taking proactive steps to protect your assets and ensure your loved ones’ well-being is essential.

Laws vary by state, but in Minnesota, cohabitating couples do not typically receive the benefits that married couples enjoy in terms of tax and legal structures. As such, it is important for unmarried partners to utilize estate planning documents, as well as other legal remedies, to ensure the future security of children, secure ownership and distribution of assets to loved ones, overcome the gap between benefits offered to legally married couples, and protect loved ones in the event either partner can no longer do so.

Cohabitating with Children: Ensuring Their Future Security

Thankfully, Minnesota law recognizes the importance of protecting the rights of unmarried couples who have children together. To ensure the financial security and well-being of your children, it’s crucial to establish legal guardianship and create a comprehensive estate plan. Under Minnesota law, you can designate a guardian for your children in the event of your passing. Additionally, setting up trusts, specifying beneficiaries, and outlining your wishes regarding their care can provide the necessary legal framework to safeguard their future.

Shared Real Estate: Securing Ownership and Distribution

Unmarried couples who share real estate in Minnesota face unique challenges without the default protections provided by marriage laws. However, using specific legal tools can help secure ownership and distribution. For example, establishing a Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship ensures that your share of the property automatically passes to your partner in the case of your death. Alternatively, creating a property agreement, such as a Cohabitation Agreement, outlining each partner’s rights and responsibilities can be an effective tool when drafted properly. Consulting with an attorney at Schromen Law, LLC can help you navigate these options within the framework of Minnesota Statutes.

Protecting Loved Ones: Understanding the Importance of Legal Documents

Married couples in Minnesota enjoy certain tax and legal benefits that unmarried couples do not automatically receive. These include the ability to claim the unlimited marital deduction for estate tax purposes and favorable inheritance laws. However, unmarried couples can still protect their loved ones by using estate planning tools. By consulting with an attorney well-versed in Minnesota statutes, you can create wills, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and other legal documents to ensure your partner and children are protected and your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Estate planning is a critical step for unmarried couples, particularly for those cohabitating with children or sharing real estate. By utilizing specific statutes, such as those governing guardianship and property agreements, you can protect your loved ones and ensure their financial security. Although unmarried couples may not enjoy the same automatic benefits as married couples, with the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney at Schromen Law, LLC, you can create a comprehensive plan that safeguards your assets, honors your wishes, and provides peace of mind for you and your family. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation.

The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.


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