As traditional family dynamics change across the United States, estate planning will look different as well. In the last 10 years, the law has learned to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ families and partners. With that being said, many estate planning laws are still designed for traditional family members. As a result, there are a few things to keep in mind when estate planning for LGBTQ+ partners or family.
How to include your partner in your estate plan
Including LGTBQ+ partners in your estate plan or making them eligible for your inheritance is easier now than ever. Same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, and marriage is one of the easiest ways to include your spouse in your estate plan automatically.
However, it’s still important to have a thorough estate plan and will that leaves all of your assets to your partner. Even if you are married, making your wishes clear in a legal document will ensure that nothing is up for debate.
If you’re not married, it’s even more important to have a last will and testament that includes your partner. It’s also crucial to make sure that things like houses, cars, investments and bank accounts are all joint accounts between you and your partner.
What if there are kids involved?
Traditionally, kids are left to the other biological parent in the event of one parent’s death. If there is no biological parent, the child would go automatically to the other relatives. In LGBTQ+ families, the child might not be related to either parent or only related to one parent. When considering children in your estate planning, be sure to have court documents that prove you and your partner are both equal parents to your children.
Planning for the unthinkable can be tough and will look different for each family. You may want to reach out to a lawyer with any estate planning questions.