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Same-sex couples can have unique estate planning considerations

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2020 | LGBTQ+ Law

Same-sex couples can get married legally just like heterosexual couples. While this is a wonderful change to previous laws, the world is still playing catch-up in many cases. As such, estate planning strategies that work well for heterosexual couples might not be as effective for married or unmarried LGBTQ couples.

In our practice, we make it a point to remain up-to-date with LGBTQ law. Since we practice in estate planning as well as family law, we like to offer help for the unique legal issues that same-sex couples often face. In this post, we want to offer a few estate planning tips to help LGBTQ couples protect their assets and their loved ones.

  1. Make sure to include the basic, yet essential estate planning documents, such as a living will, durable financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney.
  2. Resolve any legal entanglements with previous partners. For example, if you entered a civil union or a domestic partnership with someone else before marrying your spouse, it is important to dissolve these arrangements. Doing so nullifies any claim a previous partner may have on your estate.
  3. Consider adding a HIPAA privacy authorization form to your estate plan, which most people overlook. This can make it easier for your designated representative to make decisions on your behalf.
  4. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can add strength to your estate planning documents by supporting your financial wishes if you become incapacitated.
  5. Speak with an attorney about estate planning advantages like gift-splitting, marital deductions that offer tax benefits and rolling your retirement benefits over to your same-sex spouse if you die.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting your loved ones and your assets. Please continue reviewing our website where you will learn more about LGBTQ law in the state of Illinois.