An unmarried cohabitant is not automatically entitled to a share in estate of the other partner. An unmarried cohabitant can however prepare a will leaving his or her estate to the other partner. If a cohabitant dies intestate, the other partner will not be entitled to a share in the deceased partner’s estate under intestacy laws. A cohabitant can claim a share by arguing that there was a financial or property sharing agreement but such claims is generally difficult to prove. Having a valid will in place is the best way to overcome this problem.
If one partner is incapacitated and requires a guardian, it can cause problems. Having a valid durable power of attorney authorizing the other partner to take decisions on behalf of the incapacitated partner can help overcome this problem. The other partner can take healthcare decisions for the incapacitated partner. The partners can also have living wills in place to ensure that their wishes regarding their treatment are honored.