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Why Unmarried Couples Need To Meet With A Wills And Estates Lawyer

May 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 156

These days, many young couples are opting to put off engagements and weddings until they are older or put them off all together and instead choose to live together in a de-facto relationship. Many couples tend to do this in order to avoid the high divorce rates that their parent's generation is rife with but, unfortunately, when it comes to separating and death in these situations the law does become very complicated.

Whilst the most effective way to obtain the legal benefits of a marriage is by getting married, this is not an option for some couples (especially in the cases of same-sex relationships). In these situations, it is best for the couple to meet with a wills and estates lawyer, who will help them to structure their estate in a way that benefits both parties of the couple in a similar fashion to as if they were actually married.

This lawyer will discuss with you some of the legal disadvantages of living in a de-facto relationship, including:

• When a married couple divorces, each party is (generally) entitled to 50% of all assets that were obtained throughout the marriage. When a de-facto couple separates, however, the court will award 100% ownership to the party whose name is on the title.

• If a de-facto relationship is structured so that one party is the breadwinner (often the man) and the other a homemaker (often the woman), the court will often award all assets to the breadwinner who financially supported the household.

• If one party in a de-facto relationship passes away, anything that is not specifically outlined in their will is left to their next of kin - not their partner in the de-facto relationship. This often results in people being evicted from houses by the family of their deceased partner.

By meeting with a wills and estates lawyer, however, a couple that is in a de-facto relationship can avoid many of the problems outlined above. In most situations, lawyers will draft legally binding documents that outline the couple's living arrangements, that all assets obtained throughout the relationship are joint assets, and who has rights to the partner's property and health care in the event of a serious illness or even death.

If you and your partner are currently living in a de-facto relationship and don't have any immediate plans for marriage, it is strongly recommended that you meet with a wills and estates lawyer to ensure that you both receive the legal benefits that (generally) only married couples are privy to. Having legal documentation can also prevent disputes in the event of a death or a separation, lessening the stress for all involved.

This article helps you to know why unmarried couple needs to meet with a wills and estates lawyers. Mason Sier Turnbull wills and estates lawyers provide great service and sensible solutions to their clients.

Source: EzineArticles
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