Couples who are not married will face many difficulties in planning their estates that traditional married couples do not. There is an extreme bias in the tax and property laws against unmarried partners. For example, there is no unlimited marital deduction available to unmarried partners. Even though there is a bias, proper estate planning can overcome many of the legal problems that unmarried partners face.
If you die without a will or trust, state laws give no consideration to the partnership when determining who will inherit the deceased’s assets unless proper domestic partnership registration and planning have been properly executed. If not, the property will pass to the deceased’s family. The surviving partner will get nothing. To avoid this problem, there must be at a minimum a properly drafted will that provides for distributions to the unmarried partner. There must also be tax planning, properly planned ownership to assets, and trusts.