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The Legal Protections Unmarried Couples Need

More people are living together rather than marrying today than ever before, and there are certain steps unmarried couples should take to protect their interests in case of a split.

If you and your partner decide you want to purchase a house, you should decide beforehand how you want to own it. The house will belong to whomever is listed on the title, even if both of you paid for it. One option that ensures both partners own an equal share is to own the house as joint tenants with right of survivorship, so if one dies, the other owns the home outright. However, if you split, you are both still legally liable for the mortgage. Another option is to draw up a trust or contract that specifies how the property will be handled if a break-up ensues.

If partners plan to be in a committed relationship over time, there are also estate planning issues to consider. Since the law does not recognize living together, unmarried couples should speak with an estate planning attorney to discuss wills, trusts and tax avoidance strategies that will ensure their assets pass as they wish.

Health care is also a consideration for unmarried couples. If your employer allows you to add a domestic partner to your policy, the IRS treats any of your partner’s benefits as taxable income unless your partner is a dependent. If you both have policies from your respective employers, it is probably best to maintain those separately.

The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC, focuses on estate planning and asset protection for Florida residents. Contact our Fort Myers law firm for your free consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning
dorcey law firm
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169