Same-Sex Couples & Planning for the Future

In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court made history when it decided that same-sex couples could legally marry in all states, but this landmark decision did not resolve all the financial issues faced by same-sex couples.

With gay marriage in its infantile stages, it's met some opposition. This is just one of the reasons that same-sex couples are well-served by protecting their rights with an estate plan.

Gaining Control of Life’s Decisions

Prudent same-sex couples understand the importance of gaining control over their assets, and one of the best ways to exercise control is through estate planning.

Whether or not a same-sex couple chooses to marry, they can create an estate plan to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they pass, and their estate doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

In the case of all couples, but especially those that are not married, an estate plan ensures that their estate is not distributed according to the state’s intestate laws, which go into effect when someone dies without a will.

When someone dies without a will, their estate is usually distributed to their closest blood relatives, which may not align with the decedent’s wishes.

Some of the issues that estate planning can address:

  • Medical decisions
  • Powers of attorney
  • Drafting a will
  • A pour-over will
  • A revocable living trust
  • Life insurance
  • Guardianship of minor children
  • Beneficiary designations

Estate planning is important for all life partners, married and unmarried. One consideration is that if you have children, the court may treat you like a blended family. Often, it’s best for a same-sex parent who is not the biological parent to adopt the child so their parental rights can be established.

Since the default rules in each state are inadequate, same-sex partners want to be proactive in their estate planning so they can control what happens to their assets.

For further advice, reach out to an estate planning attorney!