When most people think of subjects such as “life partners” and “cohabitation agreements”, if they think of them at all, they assume that the discussion is only going to be about things which are of interest to gay and lesbian couples. However, information on these subjects can be quite valuable for others as well. For example, grown children living with parents or other instances of people living together as partners can need this legal protection in their situation.
Despite all the stories in the news recenlty about “gay marriage”, many couples remain legally unprotected in the event of life decisions and rights of the partnership participants.
While such documents as a living will, living trust, last will and testament, and power of attorney can be independently powerful tools to help couples make legal use of various rights and privileges enjoyed by those involved in relationships more commonly recognized by most state governments they still can leave holes in the legal aspects of these relationships. Getting an attorney to prepare all these documents can normally cost thousands of dollars, and, in many cases, this is the best choice to make sure all possibilities are covered.
A cohabitation agreement, executed while the couples are healthy, aware, and in agreement, can help pave the way for simpler decision-making during difficult times and insure that partners in the agreement will be able to function effectively in most situations where they might commonly be without legal standing.
It is true that the cohabitation agreement, which is an actual written contract between the partners, outlines details relevant to a great many issues related to financial and property issues. It is also true that it can even indicate the potential disposition of properties and resolve in advance other issues should the partnership end. However, it is still in the best interests of both parties to also make sure that they prepare a living will, or advance directive, a power of attorney as deemed necessary, and a last will and testament.
While there are many good do-it-yourself legal kits which can aid in preparation of the cohabitation agreement and other documents, they should never be used lightly, and consideration should always be given to having an attorney perform the legal duties. It can be daunting to work your way through a fill-in-the-blank process when you have issues specific to your situation which should be addressed.