A Multi-State Trust and Estate Practice.
Did you know that the western states have substantially different standards regarding the treatment of non-marital committed relationships? These differing standards can have drastic effects on how a court distributes property following the dissolution of the relationship, or the death of a partner.
Some states, such as Washington, apply their laws of marital community property automatically to those parties engaged in what is described as a committed intimate relationship (other times referred to as a meretricious relationship ). Oregon has a unique approach that treats such relationships similar to an undocumented business partnership. Other states, such as Arizona and Idaho, have sought to promote the public policy goals of “marriage and family” and thus treat non-marital relationships with hostility, directly rejecting any assumption of shared or joint property between co-habiting couples. If you move overseas for an extended stay, complex foreign laws may result in unwanted surprises. Understanding these differences is critical when it comes to advising clients who are engaged in committed non-marital relationships. This is especially true for couples who comingle property and assets, or who may change domicile. Watch for news of our comprehensive presentation this fall.
In the meantime, consider Wool Landon as a resource. At Wool Landon we have broad experience advising clients in non-marital committed relationships. One of our sweet spots is assisting in cross-state relocation and international applications.