Purposeful Advocacy for New Jersey A Path Forward for Your Finances, Your Family, & Your Future CONTACT US

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples | What to Know

April 9, 2021

Often, when people consider estate planning, they believe it is something to do once you are married and/or have kids. This is not the case. You should begin estate planning early in your life. Additionally, you do not have to be married to create an estate plan together. You and your partner should begin estate planning, regardless of your marital status. This will ensure that you have a secure future, and can even allow you some of the benefits married couples have. Read on to learn more about estate planning for unmarried couples in New Jersey.

What Is an Attorney-In-Fact?

A Power of Attorney is one of the most important documents you can make. When you establish a Durable Power of Attorney, you can give your significant other the authority to make important decisions on your behalf in the event that you were to become incapacitated. For example, if you become incapacitated, a Durable Power of Attorney can grant your significant other power to make your financial decisions for you. You can also appoint your partner to be your healthcare proxy in an Advance Healthcare Directive, which allows them to make end-of-life decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment. These decisions are incredibly important, and this responsibility should be given to someone you trust greatly.

What Is a Digital Estate Plan?

Just as you carefully plan your regular estate by creating wills, establishing trusts, beneficiaries, and more, you must also account for your digital estate. For example, digital tokens, computers, external hard drives, smart devices, data packages, online accounts, intellectual property, and more should all be accounted for. Your digital assets may be a far greater part of your overall estate plan than you realize, so it is important you take a detailed inventory and speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney as soon as you can. This is an aspect that many people overlook.

What Is a Letter of Instruction?

Writing a letter of instruction is a great way to ensure things are handled as you intended. For example, you might write your significant other a letter of instruction to inform him or her about potential bills to be paid, where you keep your assets, and all other information pertaining to how you would like your estate handled upon your passing. In order to ensure that you cover all of your bases, you should work on this letter with an experienced attorney.

If you are interested in creating an estate plan with your partner, contact our firm today.


Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.