Estate planning attorneys will often emphasize the fact that procrastination is common but dangerous when it comes to protecting your loved ones. While all responsible adults should make preparations for the well-being of their family members certain people are taking bigger risks than others.
As we all know there are people who live together in committed relationships without getting married. They have various different reasons for their decisions, and the individual who wrote the popular crime novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo chose to remain unmarried for a rather unique reason.
The author of this book was a Swedish fellow named Stieg Larsson. He died in 2004 after suffering a heart attack unexpectedly at the relatively young age of 50.
His books are very popular and of course he enjoyed income by selling movie rights, so as you might imagine he left behind quite a fortune. Larsson lived with the same woman for many years and it would be logical to assume that he would have wanted to provide for her in the event of his passing.
However, his long-term partner Eva Gabrielsson received nothing because of the fact that the author had never executed a last will or any other estate planning document that was signed and witnessed. His brother and father absorbed his fortune.
Under Swedish law you must reveal your address to the general public when you get married. Larsson was the target of death threats because of his work as a journalist and the couple feared that revealing this information could jeopardize their well-being.
This is a rather unusual reason for refraining from marriage but there are other reasons that are much more common such as the desire to retain pension benefits or to maintain a particular Social Security benefit level.
Regardless of why you may choose not to get legally married procrastinating with regard to executing a proper estate plan is really not a viable option if you are in a long-term committed relationship.