Same Sex Partners

Estate Planning Has Heightened Importance for Same Sex Partners
Two women sitting with coffee on a patio

People in relationships that the law does not recognize, such as same sex couples, face a unique set of challenges in ensuring that their preferences and choices are honored by those around them. Like all unmarried couples, the law often does not provide them with special rights because of their relationship, unlike a married couple. Well thought out estate plans can be vital to meeting these couples’ needs, especially in circumstances where one or both partners’ families disapprove of the relationship. Proper estate planning can provide substantial benefits in making sure that, if you become incapacitated, your beloved partner can continue to be a part of your life. As well as if you die, your partner can share in the wealth of your estate.

Regardless of what the statutory law in your state says about your relationship, there are ways to protect yourself and your loves ones. Thorough estate planning is absolutely essential for any person who has close loved ones with whom he/she shares no legal relationship. A carefully crafted will or living trust can make sure that your partner shares in your estate and you can provide for him/her after your death. If you die without a will, and you and your partner have no legally recognized relationship, your partner gets nothing from your estate.

Estate planning documents like powers of attorney are particularly useful for people in these situations, especially if one or both partners have relatives who disapprove. A detailed power of attorney can help make certain that the people closest to you and whom you trust the most are the ones making your decisions for you, not a family member whose decision-making may be skewed by their disapproval of your relationship.

Photo of the cover to the PDF What is Estate Planning.

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What is Estate Planning?