Here are some important steps to take for couples that are unmarried:
- Draft wills. The chances of the intentions being followed through with after a death are greater if both partners make wills. Without wills, the probability of the unmarried surviving partner having no rights is more likely.
- Think about owning property together. This is a way to guarantee that property will pass to the other joint owner at the time of the other's death due to the right of survivorship.
- Make a durable power of attorney. This will permit the partner to sign papers and checks and take care of other financial issues on his/her behalf should one become incapacitated.
- Make a health care proxy. Also known as a medical power of attorney, this permits the partner to talk on your behalf to make medical decisions, should you become injured.
- Have a living will. This lets your wishes regarding artificial feeding and other measures to prolong your life be known.