Same-Sex Couples & Estate Planning


Your estate is everything you own – your car, home, bank accounts, life insurance, personal possessions, etc. Some estates are large, some are small, but just about everybody has one. What do all estates have in common? You can’t take it with you when you die. In honor of pride month, we are focusing on estate planning for same-sex couples!

The Truth About Estate Planning

People tend to think of Estate Planning at key times during their lives. For example, at the birth of their first child, or when they retire, or upon the illness or death of a parent. The truth is, the right time to create your Estate Plan is now, before something happens. Estate Planning is an ongoing process and should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial circumstances change.

Estate planning is especially important for unmarried same-sex couples. Unlike married couples, your estate will not pass on to your partner if you die. Unmarried same-sex couples must have wills designating their partner as a beneficiary for their partner to inherit property.

Same-Sex Couples With Children

An important issue that often comes up during estate planning is naming a guardian for your minor child. It is common in same-sex relationships for only one partner to be the legal parent of a child. If both partners are not listed as legal parents, and the legal parent dies, the court will choose the child’s legal guardian.

A will allows you, as the legal parent, to express who you want as your child’s legal guardian. If you are in a same-sex relationship, your will gives you the opportunity to name you partner as the legal guardian of your child. By naming your partner as your child’s legal guardian, you increase the likelihood a judge will follow your final wishes.

While creating a will is very important, it is not the only thing estate planning includes.

An Estate Plan Should Also Include:

Powers of Attorney, or POA
Directive to Physician, or “Living Will”
Designation of Guardian

Now that you know the basics, are you ready to get started?  Tessmer Law Firm, P.L.L.C. can assist you with a complete Estate Plan suited to your individual needs. Give us a call at 210-368-9708 and schedule your Estate Planning consultation today!

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