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Want to Show Your Partner How Much You Love Them? Put Them In Your Will?

Uncategorized May 29, 2024

Love is undoubtedly the most profound and cherished thread that weaves us all together, and there are many different ways to express our love to the people who mean the most to us. Often when we think of showing our love, we think of bouquets of flowers, surprise gifts, and meaningful notes. But an often overlooked – and incredibly meaningful – way of showing your love is to put that love into a plan for the future. 

While estate planning may seem like a realm of financial jargon and legalities, it is, at its core, a tangible expression of your care for those closest to you. (And that’s why I refer to estate planning as Life & Legacy Planning.)

In this blog, we'll look at why adding your partner to your not only your Will, but your holistic estate plan isn’t just a romantic gesture but the ultimate act of love.

Providing Care and Protection

Estate planning is typically associated with financial matters and legal technicalities, but at its core, it's an expression of love for those we hold dear. It's about not leaving a mess for the people you love. It’s about providing comfort and security to your loved ones long after you’re gone. And, when you include your partner in your estate plan, you are solidifying the foundation of your love and commitment, ensuring they are cared for when you can no longer be there in person.

One of the most tangible ways to demonstrate your love is by securing your partner's legal and financial future through thoughtful estate planning, but not just any old estate planning -- in our book, it needs to be “Life & Legacy Planning” so you know you have a plan that works to keep your family out of court and out of conflict. Ask just one person that has had to go through the legal process after the loss of a loved one and they will tell you "never again!"

While a Will, Trust, and other estate planning documents are valuable, if you do not receive proper counsel, keep the plan regularly updated, and combined with additional planning tools such as a Guardian Guide™, if you have minor children, and a Family Wealth Inventory plus documenting preferences around how your money is spent, how your guardians should raise your kids, etc.,  to capture your tangible and non-tangible assets, your loved ones could be left with an expensive mess.

If you are married, your spouse already has some rights in the event of your incapacity or death, but that does not mean they have automatic access to your accounts, or can even to make your health care decisions for you the way you would want. If you are not married, your unmarried partner or partners would have no rights to anything in the event of your death or incapacity.  Truly the greatest gift you can give your beloved is a Life & Legacy Plan.

Avoiding Legal Complications

Love conquers many things, but we have to acknowledge that legal matters often require a bit more than just sentiment. Without a well-counseled, prepared and updated Life & Legacy  Plan, your partner might find themselves entangled in legal complications when it comes to inheriting assets if something happens to you. In fact, if you and your partner aren’t married, they won’t inherit anything at all!

That’s because the law that controls what happens to your assets, if you die without a plan, is written with married couples in mind. That means that anyone you love who isn’t married to you, or directly related to you through blood will be left with nothing when you die or if you become incapacitated, unless you plan in advance. And to make it even more confusing, just because a relative is related by blood doesn't mean they will get anything either if someone else takes priority under the law and gets everything first!

By including your partner in your Will, Trust, and overall Life & Legacy Plan, you get to ensure they’ll receive what you would want them to in the event of your loss - and spare them the stress of navigating legal intricacies during an already emotionally trying time.

Protecting The Life You Built Together

Maybe the institution of marriage isn’t your thing or you and your partner are putting off marriage plans for the time being. Nonetheless, having a plan in place isn’t something you want to put off until you’re older. Chances are good that you’ve already begun to build a life together that’s worth protecting.

Whether it's the charming house you turned into a home or the vintage car you spent countless road trips in, shared assets are more than just possessions – they're a part of your shared history. Including your partner in your estate plan ensures that these shared treasures are passed on smoothly, preserving the memories you built together.

And if you have children with your partner, Life & Legacy Planning takes on an even greater significance. If your partner isn’t biologically related to your children and hasn’t legally adopted them, there is no legal guarantee that your partner would be able to care for your children or even visit them if something happens to you.

Creating a Guardian Guide for your kids in your estate plan is an act of profound love and responsibility. By ensuring your partner has legal authority in matters of your children's well-being, you're displaying a commitment to everyone’s future happiness and security. On top of this, a Guardian Guide™ is the only way to ensure your kids have a designated caretaker in an emergency where you are injured or incapacitated but you have not died. Without these supplemental documents, it is likely child protective services would step in and place your children somewhere that is not likely your choice, because your guardian choices in your will are only triggered if you die.

Helping You Show The One You Love Just How Much You Care

Love binds us together – but proper estate planning, and specifically Life & Legacy Planning®  puts the love you have for your partner and your family into action. It's not just about assets and legalities; it's a declaration of your commitment and a promise to provide for your loved one even when you're no longer physically present. 

After all, in matters of the heart, there's no gesture more profound than securing a future together, whether or not you have chosen to do that through legal marriage.

If you want to show your partner just how much you love them, contact us today to learn more about our Life & Legacy Planning® process to get started. 

Schedule a complimentary 20-minute call using the link below.

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This article is a service of Sarah Breiner (The Legal Mama) and Breiner Law Firm, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life & Legacy Planning Session®, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life & Legacy Planning Session®.


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