Estate Planning for the Unmarried Couple

What Every Estate Planner Needs to Know


The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased considerably over the past few decades and the committed, unmarried couple is the fastest growing segment of the relationship population in the United States. This trend is expected to continue, as modern society struggles to find continuing long-term value in marriage.

While working with unmarried partners on the personal or human side of estate planning is not too dissimilar from working with married partners, these two groups are viewed and treated vastly different on the legal side of estate planning. The two key differences are the laws of descent and distribution, both testate and intestate (the default rule for people who die without a valid will that transfers their entire estates) and the laws of marriage, which imbues a married surviving spouse with preferred rights in a whole array of areas, including property and estate administration rights and responsibilities, as well as in personal care and taxation.

This is why we’ve brought in one of the nation’s experts on estate planning for unmarried couples, Mr. L. Paul Hood, Jr., J.D., LL.M., for a special presentation to discuss the unique challenges that unmarried couples planning incurs entitled, “The Wild, Wild West of Estate Planning: Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples”

During this 68-minute presentation, Paul will cover:

  • A look at the legal world for unmarried couples and the key differences every estate planner must know about how to approach planning with unmarried couples (compared to married couples)
  • Client relations and legal ethics with respect to representation of unmarried partners
  • Why estate planning with unmarried partners needs to be done in an expedited way, discussing the risks of no protection against HIPAA privacy protection
  • Putative or common law spouses and how to setup proper agreements to avoid post-death attempts to change legal status
  • How to set up property agreements between unmarried partners and creative uses of entities
  • The differences in the income and transfer tax treatment between married and unmarried couples, including a look at Chapter 14, joint tenancy, and marital deduction
  • Domicile and governing law, particularly if the couple lives part-time in other jurisdictions or resides with one another only part of the time
  • Key planning challenges and opportunities with respect to life and health insurance and other benefits
  • Other issues such as adult adoption, visitation agreements and much more!

Your purchase includes an instantly downloadable Video & Audio Recording, and PDF Handouts. You get all of this and more for your office for just $199. A PDF transcript is available as an add-on for an additional fee.

  • Program Title: The Wild, Wild West of Estate Planning: Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples
  • Speaker:
  • Duration: 68 minutes


Includes: Downloadable Video & Audio Recording, and PDF Handouts

Duration: 68 minutes.

NOTE: PDF Transcript available as an add-on for an additional fee during checkout.



L. Paul Hood. Jr.

J.D., LL.M.
L. Paul Hood. Jr.

Paul is an author, speaker and consultant on tax, estate and charitable planning. A native of Louisiana (and a double LSU Tiger), Paul Hood obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from Louisiana State University and an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center before settling down to practice tax and estate planning law in the New Orleans area. Paul has taught at the University of New Orleans, Northeastern University, The University of Toledo College of Law and Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. Paul has authored or co-authored nine books and over 500 professional articles on estate, charitable…


The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. and the presenter are not registered Continuing Education Sponsors and this program is not pre-approved for continuing education credit for any state or regulatory agency.

However, please note that each program includes a Certificate of Completion and, depending on the license and the regulatory agency for which governs a participant’s CE credit, some professionals may be able to self-report his or her participation and receive credit. It is the responsibility of the participant to complete any process necessary to seek self-reported CE credit for his or her participation. By registering for a teleconference (or purchasing on On-Demand program), you understand that CE credit is not guaranteed or warranted by the presenter or The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc.