Estate planning is a crucial aspect of securing one’s financial future and providing for loved ones. For LGBTQ+ couples, estate planning can involve unique challenges and considerations. In this blog, we will discuss the trending estate planning issues specific to LGBTQ+ couples and provide guidance on how to navigate them.
Legal Recognition of Marriage and Civil Unions
While same-sex marriage is now legal in many countries, including the United States, there are still some jurisdictions where it is not recognized. This can create complications for LGBTQ+ couples who reside in or have assets in these areas. It is essential to work with an experienced attorney to ensure your estate plan is valid and recognized where it matters most.
Guardianship and Custody of Children
LGBTQ+ couples with children need to consider guardianship and custody arrangements in their estate plans. In some cases, only one parent may have a legal or biological connection to the child. It is crucial to establish legal guardianship and custody arrangements to protect the child’s interests and ensure they are cared for according to your wishes.
Health Care Proxies and Medical Directives
LGBTQ+ couples should ensure they have health care proxies and medical directives in place. These documents allow you to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. It is important to choose a trusted individual who will respect your wishes and advocate for you in medical situations.
Inheritance Rights and Estate Taxes
Without proper estate planning, LGBTQ+ couples may face challenges related to inheritance rights and estate taxes. For example, if one partner dies without a Will or proper beneficiary designations, the surviving partner may not be entitled to inherit assets.
Retirement and Pension Benefits
LGBTQ+ couples should consider the impact of retirement and pension benefits on their estate plan. In some cases, pension plans may not automatically provide survivor benefits to same-sex partners. It is essential to review the terms of your pension plan and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your partner is adequately provided for.
Estate planning for LGBTQ+ couples involves addressing unique challenges and ensuring that your estate plan is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. By considering the trending estate planning issues facing LGBTQ+ couples and working with a knowledgeable attorney, you can create a comprehensive estate plan that secures your financial future and provides for your loved ones.
Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, and beyond with matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Small Business Law. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook, or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi.