Thankfully, estate planning became much easier for LGBTQ couples after the historic 2015 Supreme Court decision legalized same-sex marriage federally. However, there are still certain considerations that same-sex couples should keep in mind when estate planning, especially if unmarried. If you’re in a same-sex relationship, you may want to speak with a Rockland County Wills, Trusts, & Estates Attorney for help with your specific needs. Continue reading for more information.
WHAT SHOULD LGBTQ COUPLES KEEP IN MIND WHEN ESTATE PLANNING?
Recent laws have rightfully allowed LGBTQ couples to enjoy the same legal benefits of marriage. Subsequently, estate planning for same-sex marriages is nearly identical to estate planning for heterosexual marriages. However, there are still a few special circumstances that some same-sex couples may need to take into account when starting an estate plan. Some examples include:
- If you left an ex-partner as a beneficiary for your bank or other accounts, you’ll need to update your accounts. This is common for people who had long-term same-sex relationships with a former partner prior to the 2015 Supreme Court decision.
- Some LGBTQ people may be estranged from biological family members. In this case, it’s important to create a no-contest clause for your will to ensure these family members don’t try to argue against the validity of your will after your death.
- If you have children, estate planning is even more important. Make sure to consider children when creating a will and determining beneficiaries. You can get help from an estate lawyer if you have complicated family arrangements.
HOW CAN I START AN ESTATE PLAN IF I’M UNMARRIED?
If you’re not married to your partner, there are still many steps you can take to secure your estate. Perhaps the most important aspect of any estate plan is a will. This important document ensures that your assets are distributed appropriately in the event of your death. If you happen to die without a legal will, your partner and family members will have to go through probate court to determine what happens to your assets. A valid will can protect your assets even after you’re gone.
You might also want to appoint a Power of Attorney (POA). This gives control of your finances to your partner (or whoever else you choose) after your death. Appointing a POA is also important because it allows the person to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated and unable to represent yourself.
Are you an LGBTQ couple looking for a trusted attorney for help in estate planning? Look no further because the Lauterback Law Firm is on your side! Contact our experienced team today for an initial consultation.