Same-Sex and LGBT Couples Planning
Same-sex marriages are recognized under all 50 states and under federal law in the same manner as heterosexual marriages. However, same-sex couples need to be particularly aware of estate planning issues. Effective estate planning for gay and lesbian couples requires a “non-standard approach”.
Same-sex couples who have not married will be treated in the eyes of the law as complete and utter strangers. As a result, couples without the proper estate planning documents in place will suffer unnecessary heartache, endless frustration and possible financial strain during an already difficult time.
Avoiding probate court
One particular concern for same-sex couples is avoiding probate court on death. Everything in a will becomes public during probate. Prior to admitting a will to probate, all potential heirs must be notified and are given the opportunity to contest the will. For that reason, many same-sex couples opt for a Revocable Living Trust to dispose of their assets at death. Revocable Living Trusts can be 100 percent private and they are much more difficult for surviving heirs to contest.
Same-sex couples must concern themselves with issues related to guardianship of minors and funeral arrangements. If there are children, those minors may have only one of the partners as a legal parent. Unless proper documentation has been prepared, a probate court Judge will have decision-making authority over some of these sensitive issues. Same-sex couples to address these issues.
Holland Law Offices has extensive experience establishing Estate Plans tailored to the particular needs of individuals and families. Contact Paul G. Holland Jr. for an initial consultation at 860-415-0075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charitable giving is often very important for same-sex couples without children. They should engage an attorney who is adept with sophisticated philanthropic strategies.
Solid estate planning can be complex, so you should hire an attorney who specializes in that area of law. For gay and lesbian couples, having strong counsel is even more important. And Stonington estate attorney Paul Holland explains why:
While gay marriage is legally no different than heterosexual marriage, same sex couples who do not marry are seen as “strangers” in the eyes of the law! So, without the proper documents in place, a surviving partner may experience added heartache, frustration during an already difficult time.
So, let’s start with your will and avoiding probate. When you die, your will becomes public during the probate process. And your relatives have the ability to contest the will.
That’s why many same sex couples opt for a revocable living trust. It’s totally private and contesting a trust is much more difficult.
Next is guardianship of minor children. For same-sex couples, it’s possible a child will have only one “legal” parent. You need to have proper documentation in place ahead of time. You certainly don’t want the probate judge making a custody decision!
Because many same sex couples don’t have children, charitable giving can also be an important consideration in estate plans, so make sure you have an attorney who understands those.
So, call Paul Holland law offices today (860-415-0075) or visit hollandprobatelaw.com
“Paul was very attentive listening to our family’s needs and then tailored the Estate Plan, including Wills, Trusts, and Healthcare to our family’s needs. Paul is very personable, empathetic and easy to work with. “Dave
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