Property Rights of Unmarried Couples FAQ

If one of us dies, how much property will the survivor inherit?

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small



If one of us dies, how much property will the survivor inherit?

Usually nothing, unless the deceased partner made a will or used another estate planning device, such as a living trust or joint tenancy agreement. In a few states, same-sex partners who are registered as domestic partners or have entered into a civil union relationshipmay automatically inherit a portion of a deceased partner's property, but these laws are by no means the safest or easiest way to plan for inheritance. The bottom line is simple: To protect the person you live with, you should specifically leave property using a will, living trust, or other legal document.

Making a Property Agreement

For help making a property agreement, as well as answers to more questions like these, see Nolo's Living Together: A Legal Guide for Unmarried Couples, by Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara, and Frederick Hertz. The book includes various agreements as tear-out forms and on CD-ROM, and provides state-by-state charts of state laws for your reference.

Find a Lawyer

Start here to find family and divorce lawyers near you.

how it works 1
Briefly tell us about your case
how it works 2
Provide your contact information
how it works 1
Connect with local attorneys
Related Ads