Many Ohio couples live together but don't get married. However, just because someone doesn't have a spouse or children is no reason to avoid creating an estate plan. In fact, it may make it more important to create one. For example, if a person is incapacitated and unable to make certain health care decisions, a partner may not be able to make them on that person's behalf.
However, this may not be the case if a power of attorney was created. A power of attorney may give a partner the ability to make decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to do so. Those who have bought a home together may wish to account for that property using a will or by giving both individuals joint tenancy with survivorship rights.
It may also be a good idea to talk about what happens to shared assets. If there is no will, the estate will be considered intestate. This means that assets will pass according to state law regardless of any informal agreement made between partners. It may also be a good idea to name a partner as a beneficiary to a retirement account or to a life insurance policy.
The use of an estate plan may help to protect the assets of those who are not married to their partners. By creating a will or using a trust to hold assets, they may pass to their intended beneficiaries. An attorney may be able to talk more about the other potential benefits of creating an estate plan.