If you’re in a non-traditional family, you know that estate planning is, as Winston Churchill once said about Russia, “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” But here’s some advice that’ll help.
DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP/LIFE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
This can be a helpful tool, because it can specify the boundaries and responsibilities of the arrangement. And it can be helpful even if the relationship is non-romantic.
A Life Partnership Agreement can establish how property is owned and titled. It can establish whether income, gifts, or inheritances belong to one partner, or both. It can establish who does what around the house, and who pays for what. And it specifies how finances and ownership will be determined if the relationship ends.
Additionally, this agreement can provide legal evidence of the relationship if it’s ever needed.
WHAT ABOUT KIDS?
If there are kids involved, a Parenting Agreement might be beneficial…especially if you ever have to prove in court that you and your partner have agreed to care jointly for the children. One caveat: In most states, courts are not bound by Parenting Agreements; they simply have to provide for the best interest of the child. But if a surviving partner can show a Parenting Agreement in which both partners have provided for the best interest of the child, your chances are better. Also, like a Life Partnership Agreement, a Parenting Agreement can delineate specific responsibilities when it comes to caring for the child(ren), and who pays for what.
The laws are very confusing, and always changing. And they vary from state to state.
Estate planning for non-traditional families can be a complex and tiring legal journey. But we can get you through it.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been walking South Florida families – both non-traditional and traditional – through the Elder Law Journey for 34 years. And we’ve helped thousands of them establish estate plans appropriate for them – with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.
We’ll get you through the Elder Law Journey. And we’re just a phone call away.