There are many reasons why two people stay together but don’t marry: family, profession, religion, a messy divorce history. Although marriage generally confers more legal and financial rights, some couples still opt for the partnership or civil union route.
Same-sex couples could not marry until 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges. Until then, same-sex couples were the prime candidates for domestic partnership status, which required specialized estate planning. Today, all those who prefer to remain unmarried must still make careful preparations to safeguard their estates.