Are you and your loved one cohabitating or domestic partners and unmarried? Have you considered estate planning? Do you have a will or trust that provides for your loved one? Unlike marriage, an unmarried partner is not a legal heir and therefore does not inherit property that is not jointly titled with rights of survivorship.
If you and your loved one are domestic partners, there are several reasons you would enter into a trust agreement. A few of those reasons are maintaining control over assets, avoiding probate and privacy. These are a few pf the advantages of living trusts.
Another method of estate planning for partners who wish to leave property to the other partner is titling either real or personal property jointly with rights of survivorship. This is known as joint tenancy. In this case, should one owner pass away, the remaining owner automatically takes ownership as a right of survivorship.
If, however, you don’t wish to leave property to the survivor, there is also tenancy in common. This is a common way for two or more people to hold property. When property is titled as tenants in common, each owner has the right to sell or bequeath his/her share of the property. This allows an owner to leave the property to someone other than the co-owners. At death, the co-owner’s interest passes either by will, through a living trust or by intestacy.
It is important to remember that having no method of estate planning is a disaster for a partner. This is because cohabitants / partners are not heirs of the estate under the intestacy laws of Georgia. Call our firm today at 678-781-9230 and let us help you determine which of the above methods works for you and your loved one.
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