When you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and you want to start your estate planning process, now is a great time. You have many protections by law, and if you’ve gotten married, those protections for you and your spouse are the same as those shared by heterosexual couples.
However, if you and your partner have not married, there are some steps that you can take to make sure you’re protected and that they, or you, are taken care of if the other passes away.
Estate planning is vital for the LGBTQ+ community
Estate planning is necessary for this community, because in nontraditional families, there may be unique issues that present themselves. For example, if you did not marry your partner and passed away, it’s likely that they would not receive any portion of your estate unless you named them as a beneficiary. It wouldn’t be an automatic transition from your property into theirs as it would be with a married couple.
Similarly, if you have children, biological or not, you will need to assign each other as guardians in some cases. If you die without a will and without any paperwork to tell the state what you want, the courts will have to decide for you.
At the least, create your will
At the very least, it’s important for you to create your will. If you die intestate (which is without your will), the state or probate court will make all the decisions about how to pass on your assets to your loved ones.
A good thing to do is to add a trust alongside a will, so that you can have some assets bypass the probate process and pass on directly to your heirs or beneficiaries. The nice thing about this is that you control who receives what. They don’t have to be related to you. You will have the final say in how the estate is distributed.
Though the law is becoming more protective of LGBTQ+ couples and families, it is not perfect yet. Make sure you take the time to go over your estate plan and set up the documents you need to make sure your loved ones are protected.