If you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual and you don’t make estate planning decisions for yourself, the state will then make them for you. Don’t miss your opportunity to leave your legacy to the people and organizations you love and support.
A LGBT estate plan usually includes:
- A Will and/Revocable Living Trust
- Power of Attorney for Healthcare
- Power of Attorney for Asset Management
- A Living Will/Advanced Directive to Physicians
- A Cohabitation or Joint Living Agreement
Same-Sex Couples Estate Laws
In the United States, the Federal government, as of 2015, now recognizes same-sex marriages. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), formerly left one partner subject to an inheritance tax upon the death and transfer of estate assets. With the Supreme Court ruling, LGBTQ couples now receive all the benefits of a marriage by law. The Federal government affords married couples many rights and protections that are not afforded to couples without married status regarding issues such as immigration, Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, family leave, pensions, retirement savings, hospital visitation, Medicaid, estate taxes, and many other areas of law. Estate planning tools can effectively lower costs of inheritance and other taxes, while ensuring certain legal rights not granted at the Federal level to same-sex couples.
Writing a Will for Gay Couples
Writing a Will is essential for every gay couple. LGBT couples need to cover the basics just like every other living situation in the world. Who is going to have Power of Attorney? Power of Attorney is the person you deem in your Will to make medical decisions for you. Additionally, directions regarding life-sustaining treatment. This is often called an Advanced Directive or Living Will, which tells your doctor what life-saving measures you would like taken in the event of your unconsciousness with no reasonable chance for recovery.
LGBT Wills Often Challenged
LGBT Americans are at higher risk of having their Wills and Trusts challenged by family members or others unsatisfied with their decisions. Preparing the documents properly in your estate plan is vital to ensure that you meet all state requirements.