In 2015, the Supreme Court made the historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. With this, LGBTQ couples were granted the same legal benefits, such as estate planning, as other couples across the United States. Follow along to find out how an LGBTQ couple can start an estate plan and how one of the proficient Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can walk you through this process.
What are the special considerations for an LGBTQ couple’s estate plan?
Divorce is usually a natural point to reevaluate your estate plan, such as your beneficiary designations on your bank accounts, retirement accounts, and IRA accounts. However, to reiterate, LGBTQ couples were not universally able to get married before the Supreme Court’s decision in 2015. And so, LGBTQ couples may have outdated beneficiary designations, among other aspects of their estate plan. This is why we recommend that LGBTQ couples check out their beneficiary designations, and the like, to ensure that they have not accidentally left any of their ex-partners as part of their estate plan.
How should an LGBTQ couple start their estate plan?
As an LGBTQ couple, it may be in your best interest to consider a no-contest clause when it comes to your will or trust. This is because such a clause will state that if any beneficiary or heir challenges the validity of your will or trust in a Pennsylvania court, then they will lose out on the inheritance that they were set to receive from you. This is especially recommended if you are estranged from your family or if you have disgruntled relatives. However, the same is recommended for any individual who anticipates having a family dispute regarding their estate plan.
On a similar note, if you or your spouse happen to not be the legal parent of one or more of your children, then it may be in your best interest to make special considerations about including children in your estate plan. That is, you and your spouse should discuss whether you want your children to inherit from one of you or both of you and what will happen to your minor children if one of you or both of your pass on, among other considerations. Again, the same is recommended for any individual who has a blended family, has applied for stepparent adoption, or otherwise.
But overall, now that same-sex marriage is legalized, LGBTQ couples have the same or similar concerns when it comes to making a will or trust, making a health care directive, making a financial power of attorney, etc. So, if you and your spouse are ready to kickstart your estate plan, reach out to a talented Butler County estate planning attorney today.