Our law firm is very receptive to members of the LGBTQ community. Estate planning has traditionally been especially important for same-sex couples that could not get legally married. Now that these unions are recognized on the state level and the federal level, all married couples enjoy the same rights. However, estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
If you are married, you still need an estate plan. There are many different things to take into consideration, and there are multiple options available to you with regard to an asset transfer vehicle. You should explore them thoroughly so that you can provide for the people on your inheritance list in the optimal manner.
Of course, estate planning is a must for single gender and sexual minority group members as well. As we have touched upon, a last will is not the only choice when it comes to the facilitation of postmortem asset transfers. A will must be admitted to probate, and this process is costly and time-consuming. It also opens a window of opportunity for anyone that may want to challenge the terms of the will.
When you understand the facts, you may find that a revocable living trust is a better solution. If you establish a living trust, you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary throughout your life. You name successors to assume these roles after you pass away. When the time comes, the successor trustee would distribute assets that are in the trust to the successor beneficiary or beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. The probate process would not enter the picture.
A solid estate plan will include an end-of-life component that addresses the possibility of latter life incapacity. In some cases, physicians can keep a patient alive through the utilization of artificial life-sustaining measures, even if there is no hope of recovery. You may or may not want to be kept alive if you are ever in this situation, and you can state your wishes in a legally binding manner if you execute a living will.
In addition to a living will, there is another advance directive for health care that is recommended called a durable power of attorney. A living will is all about the matter of life-support utilization or lack thereof, but other types of medical decisions can present themselves. The agent that is chosen in a durable power of attorney for health care would be empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
To account for financial decision-making, you can also add a durable financial power of attorney. You can name the same person to act as the decision-maker in both capacities, or you could name two different respective agents. Getting back to the value of a revocable living trust, if you do establish a trust, you could empower a disability trustee to act as the administrator if you become unable to make sound decisions on your own.
Call or Click Today!
If you are an LGBTQ community member, our doors are wide open if you are ready to put an estate plan in place. To schedule a consultation, call us right now 831-649-1122 or click this link to send us a message electronically.