BASIC ESTATE PLANNING
Estate planning for unmarried LGBTQ+ couples and individuals can be a complex procedure, and they need estate planning documents to establish to avoid the state intestate succession statutes. Intestacy happens when you die without a will or a will that does not cover all of your assets.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has changed things for married lesbian and gay couples. Marriage equality means same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. Those marriages are recognized by every state and territory. Opposition to marriage equality continues to exist but it is not as virulent as before.
All federal benefits are available to married same-sex couples, including Social Security surviving spouse benefits and VA benefits.
Estate planning is more than figuring out what happens to your stuff after you die. You also need to think about what you want during your lifetime. How do you protect your partner, your kids and your property? What do you need to do? And, you have the opportunity to determine your end-of-life plans as well. Too many people wait and sometimes it is too late to do anything.
A complete estate plan looks at everything. You and your lawyer need to work together to accomplish your goals. You decide what are your goals. What do you want?
The situation surrounding LGBTQ+ rights around the country remains fluid, including those involving our families. Obergefell did not resolve everything.
There are some questions to raise with your lawyer:
Preparing your estate plan, in collaboration with a good lawyer, is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your property.
Can you do it on your own? Sure. But, what happens if you don't do it right? That won't be known until its too late to make any changes. And, where does that leave your partner...your kids...your family?
Talk to a lawyer who has experience with LGBTQ+ legal issues. The National LGBT Bar Association has lawyers in almost every state - lgbtbar.org
A comprehensive estate plan is an investment in your present...your future...your peace of mind.
A BASIC ESTATE PLAN DOCUMENTS :
WHAT TO DO WHEN MEETING
WITH YOUR LAWYER.
I tell my clients, "If you don't understand what I'm talking about, then I'm not doing my job."