Cohabitation, or living together without being married, is becoming increasingly common in today's society. Many people choose to cohabit until they are ready to get married, while others choose to never tie the knot. However, when it comes to inheritance and property rights, cohabiting couples can face some unique legal challenges. In this blog post, we'll explore what unmarried couples are entitled to in terms of inheritance and property rights, and why it's important to seek out a family law practice in Orlando, FL to help navigate these complex issues.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that unlike married couples, unmarried cohabiting couples do not have automatic inheritance rights to each other's property or assets in the event of death. This means that if one partner dies without a will, their assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy which prioritize blood relatives over their partner. Therefore, it's crucial for unmarried couples to have a will in place if they wish to ensure their partner inherits their share of assets upon their passing.
In addition to wills, unmarried couples can also benefit from other legal agreements such as cohabitation agreements and joint property ownership agreements. A cohabitation agreement lays out the terms and conditions of living together while a joint property ownership agreement specifies ownership rights of jointly owned property, such as a house or car. These agreements can help avoid disputes and ensure that both parties are protected in the event of a breakup or death.
Another important consideration for unmarried couples is the issue of property rights. In the absence of a joint property ownership agreement, the ownership of property is determined by the name on the title or deed. Therefore, it's important for both partners to have their name on important documents such as a mortgage or lease, and to understand the implications of joint ownership.
In cases where one partner owns property or assets prior to cohabiting, it's important to establish ownership rights from the outset. This can be achieved by drafting a clear and comprehensive agreement which outlines who owns what, and what happens in the event of a breakup. Without such an agreement, disputes can arise which can be difficult and costly to resolve.
In summary, cohabiting couples face unique legal challenges when it comes to inheritance and property rights. It's essential to seek out the services of a family law practice in Orlando, FL to help navigate these complex issues and ensure that both partners are protected. Whether it's drafting a will, entering into legal agreements, or establishing ownership rights, taking proactive steps can help avoid misunderstandings and disputes down the line. At Frank Family Law, we have extensive experience in family law and can provide expert guidance and support throughout the process. Contact us today to schedule a divorce or family law consultation.