ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Sounds surprising, but more people are living together unmarried than married. The latest Pew research study found 59 percent of adults ages 18 to 44 have lived unmarried with a partner. Fifty percent of all adults have never been married.
More and more people are opting to live happily ever after … without a marriage certificate. But that doesn’t mean you should opt out of all paperwork. Experts say it’s important to have a domestic partnership agreement. “It binds you at what your obligations are going to be, legally, financially, as well as for your kids,” said Goretti Garcia, MBA, a financial planner at Woman’s Worth.
Assets such as the house and car should be listed as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. If something happens to one of you, the other will automatically inherit the property, even if the will says otherwise. Another asset to take care of … your bank account. “It’s called payable on death or transfer on death, where you can add that person that you want to get your assets if something happens to you,” said Garcia.
Next, have a healthcare and financial power of attorney. “You can go ahead and pay his or her bills. You can help them make medical decisions when they can’t speak for themselves,” said Garcia. Finally, be sure you designate your partner as a beneficiary on your 401-K, IRA, and your life insurance policy. These take precedence over your will.
When dealing with these financial and legal decisions, be sure they are official with the help of a lawyer. For more information on women’s financial security, go to www.wiserwomen.org.