LGBTQ+ Couples and Estate Planning: What to Consider

LGBTQ+ Couples and Estate Planning: What to Consider 

Now that same-sex couples are legally entitled to marry across the entire United States, many in the LGTBQ+ community are changing or making new estate plans as a result. Each unique estate plan looks different and has its own individual considerations. Regardless of your sexual orientation or family composition, it is crucial to be prepared for the future and the unknown. This means having a comprehensive estate plan to protect your surviving loved ones. 

The attorneys at the Florida estate planning law firm Hoyt & Bryan, LLC explain more below.


What is Estate Planning? 

Estate planning is disposing of your property in the event of your incapacity or death. This is generally an ongoing legal process that includes the following key elements: a will, personal property memorandum, durable financial power of attorney, durable health care power of attorney, living will, and instructions for a memorial. 


Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples


What Are the Specific Estate-Planning Considerations for LGBTQ+ Couples? 

Estate planning is important for all people but can be especially relevant to LGBTQ+ couples who can face unique legal challenges. Here are some key items to keep in mind when planning your estate: 

  • Update your legal documents – This includes keeping the critical elements in your estate plan (mentioned above) updated with your wishes over time. Make sure to name your partner or another trusted individual as your beneficiary, executor of your will, or trustee. 
  • Consider joint ownership – Joint ownership of property can be an effective legal way to protect your assets in the event of death. You can place joint bank accounts, property, and other jointly owned assets in possession of both your and your LGBTQ+ partner’s name. 
  • Protect your parental rights – This can be complicated for LGBTQ+ couples as potentially only one of the partners is the child’s biological parent, or none of the family is connected through biology. It is crucial for the biological parent to name the non-biological parent as the guardian of the child in all estate planning documents. 
  • Plan for incapacity – You can name a trusted individual, such as your partner, as your durable power of healthcare representative. This means they make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. Suppose you and your LGBTQ+ partner are unmarried. In that case, this is even more important as they may not receive access to your medical records and healthcare information without this power of healthcare designation. 

Finally, estate planning is complex under any circumstances. Therefore, for LGBTQ+ couples, consider consulting our estate planning attorneys, who are familiar with LGBTQ+ estate planning issues and can tailor your plan to your individual needs. We will also take into consideration the specific challenges and needs of LGTBQ+ families. 


Hoyt & Bryan Can Help

Our Florida estate planning attorneys at Hoyt & Bryan can help you and your loved ones navigate estate planning considerations, specifically focusing on LGBTQ+ couples. We will ensure your legal and financial wishes are met at this critical point in your lives. Further, we will help you maintain the estate plan and ensure it is valid until you need it most. 


Contact us today at (407) 977-8080 to learn more about how we can help your family with estate planning. 


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