Estate planning is essential for all couples, regardless of marital status. However, many LGBTQ couples may not know where to start when establishing their estate plan. Regardless, this isn’t a task you should delay. If you and your partner are ready to start estate planning, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how a Putnam County estate planning attorney can help you take control of your future and provide peace of mind for years to come.
Does Estate Planning Differ for LGBTQ Couples?
In most instances, estate planning does not differ for LGBTQ couples. However, marital status could impact the necessity to create certain documents.
If you and your partner are unmarried and you pass away without a will, your partner could end up with nothing. When you pass away without a will, your estate will enter a process called intestacy. This means New York will take over the distribution of your assets, following the predetermined line of succession. Since you and your partner are not married, your estate would go to your children. If you have no children, your parents or siblings could inherit your estate, even if those are not your wishes.
What Documents Should You Create?
When planning your estate, the most essential document anyone should create is a will. This document is often considered the most essential estate planning tool, as it details what you would like to happen to your estate upon death. This is where you can dictate what assets you want to pass along to beneficiaries. Without this document, the state will distribute it according to its own laws.
You should also consider setting up a healthcare directive if you and your partner are unmarried. Should you become incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions regarding your healthcare treatment, and you are not married, any adult children would make the final decision. However, if you do not have children, that responsibility would be given to your parents. Regardless, if you would like your partner to make these choices, ensuring you grant them the power of attorney before it is too late is essential.
Can an Attorney Help?
When it comes to estate planning, there are many nuances that make it challenging without the help of an attorney. The last thing you want is to try to write your own will, only for it to be invalidated over one mistake.
Instead, enlisting the help of a seasoned lawyer is critical as you’ll want to ensure everything surrounding your estate plan is legally valid. Though you may think you don’t need an estate plan until you grow older, setting up these documents can help provide peace of mind for years to come.
Contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil to connect with a competent attorney and start your estate planning process today.