The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC discusses how to create an estate plan for same sex couples.

Estate planning for Same-Sex Couples

  • Posted on: Sep 12 2019
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Whether or not you and your significant other are married, it may be a good idea to create an estate plan for you both – regardless of sexual orientation. Although estate planning may seem unfamiliar and overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. As the laws in this country continue to evolve, it is often in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable California Estate Planning Attorney who has experience with estate planning for the LGBTQ community.

Plan Proactively

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, in 2015 the right for same-sex couples to marry became law for all 50 states. Since all states acknowledge these rights, same-sex couples who are married are now eligible for the same tax breaks as their heterosexual counterparts. 

There are many reasons as to why people tend to avoid creating an estate plan. We do not like to think about our own mortality and estate planning can be a reminder. However, estate planning is best when done proactive – before you actually need it. For couples who are not married and do not create an estate plan, they often leave nothing to their partners when they pass without a legal Will.

Additionally, if you wish for your partner to make decisions for you regarding your medical care and gain access to your benefits when you pass, you must execute the correct estate planning documents. 

How Property Passes

Generally, when one passes without a properly drafted Will, his or her property will pass automatically to their heirs of the estate; those that the state has deemed as the proper recipient (e.g. the decedent’s children should they have any). When someone passes without the right estate planning documents, their property will not automatically go to their significant other. And on top of that, partners may also find it difficult to establish standing for opening a probate estate. 

In other words, if you are in a same-sex relationship and are not married, you must plan – even minimally – if you would like your partner to receive any property or benefits when you pass. You should also be sure to designate someone in charge of making medical decisions for you if you should become legally incapacitated. Basic estate planning documents include:

  • A Last Will and Testament
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • Revocable Living Trust

The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC Help Create Estate Plans for Same-Sex Couples in California 

Although one of the most important things you can address, estate planning isn’t always simple to understand. Since it can often be complex and complicated, consulting with a knowledgeable California Estate Planning Attorney who has experience working with the LGBTQ community is in your best interest. At the Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC, we will work with you to determine your wishes and to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected the right way. To learn more about estate planning or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Estate Planning