Four Estate Planning Documents Every Same Sex Couple Should Have
Contemplating the prospect of you or your partner’s demise or discussing plans in the event one of you becomes incapacitated is an unpleasant topic that most people would rather avoid. At the same time, failing to have the appropriate estate planning documents in place can create serious financial problems, in the event of your death, leave your surviving partner entangled in costly probate proceedings. While having the ability to enter into a legal marriage does offer same sex couples some protections, there are four important documents that every couple should have.
Estate Planning Documents To Protect You and Your Partner
When same sex couples won the legal right to get married, it cleared away some of the obstacles these couples had traditionally faced in terms of long term estate planning and asset protection. At the same time, there are certain legal documents that are important for any couple to have in place in the event that one of them becomes unable to voice their desires and to ensure their final wishes are granted. These include the following:
- A Will
In order to prevent your property and assets from having to go through probate proceedings, make sure you have a valid, signed will in place. Make sure your will is updated to reflect your marital status, and make sure all assets are included.
- An Advance Healthcare Directive
According to the National Law Review, having an advance healthcare directive, or ‘living will’ in place is always a good idea, regardless of your marital status. This will avoid any confusion regarding your wishes or how you want end of life decisions to be handled, particularly if there are contentious relations with other family members.
- Legal Powers Of Attorney
Being married does not automatically mean your spouse has legal powers of attorney. A financial power of attorney ensures they have access to your accounts, while a healthcare power of attorney allows your partner to make important decisions for you in the event you unable to do so yourself.
- Joint Ownership and Transfer on Death Accounts
When you and your partner married, you may have remained living in a house that is only titled in one of your names, or you may continue to have separate bank and other financial accounts. Bloomberg financial experts recommends looking at titling options for any property you have that places it in both names and grants survivorship rights, in addition to designating that financial accounts transfer immediately on death to your surviving spouse.
We Can Help You Today
The above are just some of the steps you can use to help provide for yourself and those you love, both now and in the years to come. For experienced legal help in ensuring you have the proper documents in place, contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. today. Our Florida estate planning attorneys offer the kind of comprehensive, professional legal representation you need to ensure your rights and assets are protected.