Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples
In 2015, the landmark opinion of Obergefell v. Hodges provided for the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. This Supreme Court decision impacted many areas of law, such as divorce and family law and probate.
Today, estate planning for married LGBT couples is essentially the same as for any other married couple. But for unmarried LGBT partners, there are important estate planning issues to consider. Proper estate planning ensures an unmarried partner will be provided for upon your death.
- Create a will that outlines who will inherit your assets, who will serve as guardian for any minor children, who will be your personal representative and who will manage any assets inherited by minor children. If you die without a will or trust, intestate succession laws could bypass your partner, no matter how long you have been together if you are not married at the time of your death.
- Implement probate avoidance methods such as a trust, joint ownership of assets, transfer-on-death accounts and deeds and other such methods to give yourself greater control over your affairs.
- Execute a durable power of attorney and health care surrogate designation. This will ensure your partner is able to step in and make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
These are just a few examples of issues that are particularly important for unmarried couples. For more information about the steps you should take to plan your estate, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.