A University of Iowa law professor gives out some free legal advice today at a workshop on financial planning for unmarried couples. Attorney Pat Cain holds the workshops on how to handle their property, take care of each other and plan for the future, so they ask about taxes, wills and legal aspects of health care. She says people who attend are unmarried but in committed relationships, mostly gay. Cain says people without a marriage certificate need to carefully arrange their legal rights to property and other things.She says the state’s law automatically takes care of married people, giving property to a surviving spouse. Cain says couples need to learn about existing ways to set up accounts, property titles and legal arrangements so they’ll ensure their wishes are carried out.She advises joint bank accounts and owning property as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship.” Cain says it’s a good idea to make up a package of important papers, like an agreement each person signs on what they want done with non-titled property…things that are not a home or real estate.Cain adds it’s vital for domestic partners to write up a will. Today’s workshop at the Iowa City library is sponsored by the Women’s Resource and Action Center in Iowa City.
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