When same-sex marriage was not legal in the U.S., it was vital that LGBT couples get estate plans to preserve their interests as the law provided them few, if any, legal protections. Now if same-sex couples get married, they can enjoy all of the legal protections heterosexual couples enjoy.
However, that does not make it wise for LGBT couples to rely only on those protections. It is still a good idea to get an estate plan.
Recently, the Huffington Post gave some tips for same-sex couples in “5 Estate Planning Tips LGBT Families Need To Follow In 2016,” including:
- Get a Will – A will is the basic foundation of estate planning you can use to detail how you want your assets distributed and who you want to be the guardian of your children.
- Prenuptial Agreement – While not always necessary, a prenuptial agreement allows you to set the financial conditions of your marriage and how you want assets divided in case of divorce.
- Power of Attorney – Make sure you have a power of attorney in place as it will make it easier for a spouse, or someone else, to handle things if anything should happen to you.
- Estate Tax – You need to be aware of the estate tax, not only at the federal level but in your state as well. If you have enough assets that taxes might have to be paid, you need to plan for it.
- Prepare for the Worst – In the unlikely event the Supreme Court reverses itself and declares same-sex marriage “unconstitutional,” make sure you are legally prepared for that as well.
Reference: Huffington Post (July 13, 2016) “5 Estate Planning Tips LGBT Families Need To Follow In 2016”