Estate planning is always a complicated and important issue, and in the case of same-sex married couples there may be additional issues that require extra planning. For same-sex unmarried couples, there are even more issues.
While the law obviously allows same-sex couples to marry in all states in the country, there remain some counties across the country where same-sex couples cannot marry.
It is recommended that same-sex married couples take the same steps in estate planning as other married couples in order to protect themselves.
The first step is to make sure you have a legal marriage license if you are married. Prior to the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, some couples married under existing state laws. If they later moved to a state that did not recognize that marriage, there could be legal consequences.
Once that’s done, the other legal steps in estate planning obviously start with a will. But as is the case in any marital relationship, a will is just the first of several legal steps and documents that you should consider.
I also strongly recommend the following: a living will, designation of health care surrogate, durable power of attorney and a declaration of pre-need guardian.
The importance of these documents cannot be understated especially if you have children in the family, and if there are other family members who are not happy with your same-sex relationship.
If you have any uncertainty or questions, or do not have all these documents prepared, I will be glad to help.