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Legal rights for unmarried couples

Connecticut couples may not always think about their legal rights. However, if a couple is not married, they may need to pay closer attention to these rights.

People may intend to leave all of their assets to their partner after they die. According to Time magazine, unmarried couples typically need to ensure that their partner is listed as the heir on a will. Additionally, this partner usually needs to be listed as the beneficiary on life insurance and retirement benefits to receive these assets. Without some form of documentation, a person's assets are usually subject to Connecticut intestacy laws, and the assets might instead go to his or her siblings.

Additionally, people generally need to ensure that their partner has durable powers of attorney. This means that if one partner cannot make financial or legal decisions, the other can make these decisions. Unmarried couples usually cannot make health decisions for each other unless they have durable power of attorney for health care. Without this document, a person's family members, such as their siblings or parents, are typically considered responsible for these decisions.

While unmarried couples may think they jointly own their property, this may not always be the case. Marriage.com says that property usually belongs to only one partner unless they are both legal owners. People may want to draft a cohabitation property agreement to determine if one or both of them owns property. This can be helpful if a couple decides to split up, as the agreement usually lays out who has a right to take different pieces of property.

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