Estate planning is one of the basic fundamental responsibilities that you have to take care of once you become a responsible, self-supporting adult. If you go through life without asserting your wishes, you are shirking one of your responsibilities. This is true even if you are a relatively young adult.
The above being stated, perhaps estate planning is a bit more important for some people than it is for others. For example, if you are legally married and you happen to pass away unexpectedly without executing any estate planning documents, your spouse would be your next of kin in the eyes of the law. He or she would be first in line to inherit your resources via intestacy rules of succession.
Similarly, if you were to become incapacitated and unable to communicate, your husband or wife would be approached by medical professionals to make decisions on your behalf.
On the other hand, if you are unmarried and in a committed domestic partnership, your partner has no inherent rights. When you hear about such a partnership, gay couples may immediately come to mind, and without question same-sex couples must be proactive about asserting their wishes in writing.
But at the same time, there are many individuals of the opposite sex who are in unmarried but committed domestic partnerships as well, and they are in the same situation.
If you are proceeding without any estate planning documents in place as a member of a domestic partnership, you are taking quite a risk. Action is required, and if you recognize the need to plan ahead for the well-being of your partner, simply pick up the phone right now to arrange for a consultation with a licensed San Jose estate planning lawyer.
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