The GLBT community has concerns to address, including the need to create effective estate plans. Unfortunately, same sex couples in California don’t have the same legal rights as traditional couples such as the right to community property protections as well as the right to inherit or make medical decisions. It’s important to have an estate plan in place, so that you and your partner both have your wishes respected. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to talk about GLBT planning techniques, contact a qualified estate planning attorney.
- Wills. Only utilizing a will is not the best estate planning technique. A will doesn’t cover all of your estate planning needs; so, while you absolutely need a will, you need more.
- Revocable Living Trust. While a will can be easy to challenge, a trust is not. If your loved ones don’t agree with your decisions, they may decide to challenge your will. Many couples choose to also utilize revocable living trust planning, so that they’re able to leave property to their partner without challenge and with asset protection.
- Power of Attorney. You may choose to create both a financial power of attorney and a power of attorney for healthcare. These documents make it possible for your partner to assist you during your time of need. This includes handling your financial affairs and making medical decisions if you’re ever incapacitated.
- Joint Ownership. Some GLBT couples choose to utilize joint ownership when creating a plan. Joint ownership makes it possible for you to jointly own property with your partner and pass to your partner after your death automatically, without probate. If you choose to use this method of planning, discuss your options with an estate planning attorney. It’s important to understand joint ownership’s many risks.
If you and your partner are part of the GLBT community, it’s important to take the time to create an effective estate plan. This will allow you both to be fully protected. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to create a solid estate plan, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
Legacy APC, A Trusts & Estates Law Firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.