Our country has made strides in advancing the rights and equality of the LGBTQ+ community – but, we still have a long way to go before same-sex couples are protected in the same way as heterosexual couples. As laws are being developed to protect everyone equally, it remains important for LGBTQ+ families to take special care in their estate planning in order to ensure that their wishes are followed.
Failure to plan appropriately can result in unintended consequences like a surviving partner being left completely out in the cold financially. The truth is, many laws still give preference to biological and recognized family relationships over same-sex partners. Matters can be further complicated when the LGBTQ+ individual’s family does not approve of their lifestyle, and would be content to just cut a partner out of any inheritance.
To avoid this kind of emotionally painful and financially devastating situation, LGBTQ+ couples should be diligent and proactive about estate planning. A well-designed and executed estate plan can also help avoid probate, which can in turn provide tax advantages as well as ensure your assets are disseminated as you intended.