What are Important Estate Planning Tips for Same-Sex Couples?

August 2, 2021

Estate planning is very important, but it is also very complicated. It is easy to miss key details that can significantly impact the way a person’s estate is handled. Anyone who has assets and wants them taken care of and distributed according to their wishes needs to have a plan in place. Estate planning, however, is about more than just wills and beneficiaries. There is a lot to consider when it comes to creating an estate plan. For same-sex couples, the situation can be even more complicated.

Same-sex couples may face legal challenges or possible issues with some family members when it comes to an inheritances or power of attorney. Some states have laws that ban same-sex marriage. Even in states without bans, couples may encounter restrictions in place. For this reason, it is important to consult with a lawyer. Listed below are some important estate planning considerations for same-sex couples.

Determine Who Inherits the Assets

It is important to make a specific legal declaration of who gets assets upon death. This is even more important in same-sex relationships where the couple is not married. The deceased party may want to leave assets to their significant other, but if there is nothing in writing, those assets will be divided up among family members. This is why writing a will is so important. However, there can be limitations and potential issues with a will.

Consider a Living Trust

A will only goes into effect after the individual dies. This does not account for situations in which the person is incapacitated and is unable to make their own decisions. Furthermore, a will can be contested by a family member, which can cause more complications. A living trust is a great way to get around many of these obstacles. 

Health Care Directives

A durable power of attorney allows someone to make legal decisions regarding medical care on someone’s behalf when they are no longer able to make those decisions. An advanced directive outlines the person’s wishes for end-of-life care and life-saving treatments before they become incapacitated. These should always be part of any estate plan.

Delaware County Wills and Estates Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Same-Sex Couples With Estate Planning

Estate planning is extremely important for protecting your assets and ensuring everything is handled properly. Complex laws can make estate planning complicated. For same-sex couples, there are even more challenges. If you are facing obstacles creating an estate plan, a knowledgeable Delaware County wills and estates lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.