Marriage as an institution has gone through a lot of changes in the past half century, and many couples today choose to live together rather than get married. What they may not know when they set up house this way is that there are legal issues that separate cohabitation from marriage. People who live together without being married are treated differently under the law with regard to issues like mental or physical incapacity, inheritance and taxation. Cohabiting partners cannot make some important medical or financial decisions for their significant other, no matter how long they have lived together as a couple. They can also be cut out of their partner’s estate if the proper legal documents are not filed. As for taxes, the unlimited marital deduction cannot be taken by couples unless they are legally married.
Cohabitation is treated differently than marriage under the laws of many states. That’s why it is extremely important to meet with an experienced, estate planning and elder law expert to explore all your options, so that your partner can be treated the way you want him or her to be treated when there is a medical or financial crisis in your relationship.
Cohabitation has many legal ramifications that need to be addressed by a qualified attorney. If you need expert advice in this area, contact Grissom Law, LLC at 678-781-9230.
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