Wills for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals and couples - very important and complex instruments for you and your family.
Everyone should consider having a written estate plan when preparing for their future, however, it is especially crucial for unmarried same-sex couples since they are often not protected by laws designed to protect married people and their assets. The issue gets even more complicated if the couple has a child they are raising together, have property or a business that they own, or one partner is sick and wishes that other partner take part in the care and health decision making in the event they become incapacitated.
In order to ensure that your partner, and the family you have together, is protected, each unmarried same-sex couple should have:
- Durable Power of Attorney: document will ensure that your partner or designate will be able to make a decision and act on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated for financial and legal matters.
- Durable Health Care Power of Attorney: grants your agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make decisions. It is not the same as a living will since this document specifies who can make decisions for you but not what those decisions should be.
- Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian: lets you state who should be your guardian if a court determines you need one. This is critical for same-sex couples, because without this declaration, you risk the court passing over your same-sex partner and designating someone else to be your guardian.
- Living Will:is a type of document that provides instructions on what type of medical treatment you wish to receive if you become too ill to communicate. This document will speak for you when you can’t.
- Will: specifies who will receive your assets and act as guardians for any dependent children in the event that you pass away. Without a will a judge will make these decisions, which may not necessarily bge in accord with what you would wish. This type of will usually indicates:
- Which assets are to assigned to each of the beneficiaries
- who will serve as the executor for the estate
- Who will act as a guardian for any minor children
- The names of those that serve as witness to the validity of the document
Although it is important for GLBT individuals, regardless if they are single or a couple, having these documents is key to having a proper estate plan and ensuring that your best interest and wishes are being protected.
Let us help you protect your future and those of your family, make an appointment today.