Non-traditional couples have same rights, planning protects families of all types
LAS VEGAS – Estate planning is important in every family, but if couples are unmarried, whether they are same sex or heterosexual, it may be the most important thing they do.
Oftentimes, same sex and unmarried heterosexual couples don’t realize they can have legal protection in the case of an emergency or death. However, to receive that protection, they need to work with an attorney to assemble an estate plan. Otherwise, the fate of their shared property or guardianship of children will be decided by the state.
Same sex and unmarried heterosexual couples share the same rights, or the lack thereof. Without an estate plan, property of a deceased person may be distributed to unintended beneficiaries.
An estate plan can start with the execution of a last will and testament and/or a trust. A will states who will take any property as well as nominate a guardian for any children of the deceased. Having a trust in place can save the expense and time of the deceased’s estate going through probate.
“Although having a will in place requires going through the probate process, which can be time consuming and very costly, one way to avoid probate is to form a trust,” said Brooke Borg, founder and attorney for Borg Law Group. “A trust owns all your property during your lifetime and, depending on the type of trust you form, you can have complete control over your property just as you do without a trust. In the trust, you name a trustee who is responsible for taking control of your property when you pass away and making sure it gets passed to the correct individuals.”
To be safe, a medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney should accompany a will and/or trust in the estate plan, Borg said.
A medical power of attorney allows the person named to make medical decisions if their loved one is medically incapable. A financial power of attorney gives a person the right to make financial decisions on the behalf of an incapacitated loved one including signing checks or deeds and access to mortgage or bank information for the sake of maintaining current bills.
“A death in the family is devastating, but if the couple is unmarried, and precautions aren’t taken, that death can disrupt many lives and can possibly change them forever,” Borg said. Speaking to an attorney is the best way to ensure the family’s future remains intact. “Creating an estate plan is the only way to make sure you get exactly what you want after you die, regardless of whether you are married.”
Borg Law Group provides legal services to individuals and businesses in the areas of real estate, corporate law, estate planning and probate. The firm’s founder, Brooke Borg, is admitted to the State Bar of Nevada and the State Bar of Michigan.
For more information regarding Borg Law Group call 702-318-8808 or visit www.BorgLawGroup.com.