Although same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states, the LGBT community may still have different needs with regards to estate planning, and we are sensitive to those needs. Everyone can benefit from a good estate plan, however, estate planning may be even more important for same-sex couples.
Important estate planning issues facing same-sex couples
Both state and federal laws determine how couples can own property together, who will receive which assets when one person dies, how taxes are calculated and paid and who has the authority to make health care decisions when one becomes incapacitated. However, the majority of these laws apply to married couples. For instance, married couples may inherit from each other automatically, when there is no will and no descendants. Married couples are eligible for certain tax breaks as well.
Why is an estate plan needed for unmarried gay couples?
An estate plan can be used to indicate to everyone that your partner should be treated as such. For instance, a Declaration of Final Disposition under Ark. Code Ann. §§ 20-17-102 (2015) is legally binding and is much more respected than your partner saying, “She said she wanted to be cremated.” A formal plan is also necessary, in most cases, to provide the required legal support to take certain actions on your partner’s behalf.
LGBT Estate Planning in Fayetteville Arkansas: Making Sure All the Bases are Covered
While it is possible to create your own estate plan, it is also a good idea to consult an estate planning attorney who specializes in estate planning legal issues in Arkansas. An experienced Fayetteville Arkansas estate planning attorney can help you make sure you have all of your bases covered. Establishing an estate plan will ensure your wishes are documented, regardless of who may be questioning your partnership.