Estate Planning Is Even More Important For Same Sex and Non-Traditional Households.

Everybody needs to be concerned about their estate plan.  But if you are part of a same sex household or are an opposite sex couple who choose not to marry you have several unique challenges.  The law provides many “built-in” protections for married couples that you aren’t automatically entitled to.

Here are 10 important benefits that a complete estate plan can give you:

  1. Peace of Mind.  You know you have made a complete plan that keeps you in charge of your affairs and insures that your wishes are followed in the event of disability or death.
  2. Hospital Visitation.  Your estate plan includes a power of attorney in which you provide authorization for any one you choose to visit you in a medical facility.
  3. Tax Benefits.  Married couples are entitled to spousal deductions for estate taxes.  A formal estate plan can insure that you take advantages of other tax saving techniques that could reduce the amount of taxes your estate pays.
  4. Funeral Planning.  When a married person passes away the surviving spouse has the absolute right to decide how the deceased person’s body is treated and makes all funeral arrangements.  The surviving partner of a same sex or unmarried couple has no such rights.  A proper estate plan can save potential conflicts with a decedent’s immediate family or other blood relatives.
  5. Long-Term Care. Often, questions concerning estates come up long before a person’s death.  When someone must be admitted into a nursing home, for instance.  Estate planning that leaves room for this possibility can help preserve the ability of same-sex and unmarried couples to make decisions on each others’ behalf.
  6. Adoption and Childrens’ Care.  Traditional biological parents automatically maintain parental rights of children following the death of a spouse.  An estate plan can insure the rights of a surviving partner in continuing their role as a parent.
  7. The Right to See Children.  Same sex and unmarried partners often establish close bonds with their partner’s children from a previous marriage.  An estate plan can insure their right to maintain their relationship with these children.
  8. Inheritance of Money and Real Estate.  In marriages surviving spouses have automatic rights to inherit money and real estate.  The estate plan insures that surviving partners aren’t forced to move out of a house or denied access to retirement or other resources that the couple treated as joint property.
  9. General Preparedness.  We know there are no guarantees in life.  Changes in circumstances and other reversals of fortune can happen overnight.  The discipline of thinking through the various “what if” scenarios of estate planning can do a great deal to prepare you for such circumstances.
  10. Establishing a Relationship with a Trusted Advisor.  Laws frequently change.  So do your circumstances. It’s important to establish a relationship with an estate planning professional.  We strive to be among your most trusted advisors.  We keep you informed of any relevant changes in the law. We get to know you and your estate planning goals and preferences.  We become strong advocates for those goals and preferences should you become disabled or pass away.

Serving as one’s estate planning advisor is a special privilege.  The Einheuser Legal Group would be honored to provide these services to you. Contact us to make an appointment for a no-obligation complimentary consultation.

We don’t just provide our clients estate plans.  We provide them Peace of Mind.

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