28 March 2014 0 Comments

Estate Planning and Same-Sex Couples

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Making sure your partner will be taken care of in case something happens to you is one of the most loving things you can do.living trust estate planning 300x199 Estate Planning and Same Sex Couples

This applies to all couples – same-sex or opposite sex. Now that the Federal government recognizes same-sex marriages, married same-sex partners will receive the same Federal income and estate tax treatment as other married couples.

If you are a same-sex couple, the following is what you should have on your estate planning checklist for consideration:

  • Will – Make sure your partner or spouse is named in your will so he or she can inherit the assets you leave.
  • Living will – Enables you to dictate which medical procedures or treatments you want or don’t want in the event that you become incapacitated.
  • Revocable trust – Assets may pass outside of probate, providing privacy as well as eliminating probate fees.
  • Cohabitation agreement – If you decide not to marry, this agreement clarifies how money and expenses will be managed during your relationship and, in the event the relationship ends, how your assets will be divided.
  • Powers of attorney – A medical power of attorney is critical if you want your partner to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated, especially if you are not married.
  • HIPAA authorization – Allows your doctor and hospital to share your medical information with your partner.
  • Planning for young children – The children must be identified in all relevant estate planning documents, especially if they are not the legal children of your partner. Special provisions must be made if you want your partner to have primary care of your children in the event of your death.
  • Funeral arrangements – Consider final plans well ahead of time in order to make sure you are buried where you want to be or that your remains are released to your partner.

Whether married, or not, same-sex couples need to make sound estate planning decisions. At the family law offices of Holstrom, Sissung & Block, an estate planning attorney can assist with the drafting and implementation of an estate plan tailored to your unique needs. We can offer advice on the best methods to protect your assets and both you and your partner’s interests.

Call us today in one of our conveniently located offices in Riverside, San Bernardino or Orange County.

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