Members of the LGBTGIA+ community often face challenging circumstances when it comes to estate planning. Careful attention must be given when establishing a comprehensive estate plan to plan for any pitfalls or deficiencies in the law. Estate planning allows individuals to properly plan for the future of their family by creating a lasting legacy. There are many common issues that members of the LGBTGIA+ community face regarding their legal and financial future. This article will delve into some of the most common challenges same-sex couples routinely face when drafting an estate plan in Louisiana.
How to Ensure Your Assets Go to Your Partner
Protecting the financial future of those who depend on you the most is likely at the top of your priorities when it comes to estate planning. There are a number of hazards to avoid to ensure that your partner secures your assets after you die. You don’t want a family member to contest your wishes once you are gone and no longer able to protect your partner. Unfortunately, this happens often in the LGBTGIA+ community for those who do not take the additional steps to protect their partner. One of the most important first steps you can take is to speak with an estate planning attorney about creating a valid will or trust. Louisiana estate law is different from other states, and one simple mistake can invalidate your last will and testament and the court may treat it as if it were never written. This would prove tragic for your partner; your biological family could receive your assets, even if that is against your wishes. Establishing a valid will under the direction of an experienced estate planning attorney will ensure that it is done correctly and that no one can come back later to contest it.
Important Legal Documents that LGBTGIA+ Individuals Should Consider
There are a number of legal documents that can help protect the estate of an LGBTGIA+ individual. The first step would be to establish a will, as we have discussed previously, but you may also want to consider setting up a trust. This gives you more options regarding establishing your wishes for your estate and asset distribution. Another important legal document is a durable power of attorney, or POA. This document allows you to designate an individual to help you manage your life should you ever become unable to do so on your own. There is always a chance that you will become incapacitated at some point in your life and a power of attorney is the best way to accomplish this goal. A power of attorney can be established for both financial and healthcare decisions, and it will ensure that your medical decisions are respected and followed through. The consequences of not having a power of attorney are stiff, and the court may get involved if you become incapacitated or worse, a family member you do not trust may step forward to take care of your life decisions. LGBTGIA+ individuals should also consider establishing advanced directives that guide end-of-life medical care.
Address Family Disputes in Advance
Family disputes are hard to prevent, especially when dealing with family members who may not have your best interests at heart. Unfortunately, this is common in the LGBTGIA+ community. The only true way to avoid complications down the road is by extensive and careful estate planning. Legally binding documents such as a will or trust will not only clearly express your wishes, but will stand in court for you should there ever be an issue once you are gone. Designating a power of attorney will also keep unsupportive family members at bay if you ever find yourself unable to physically or mentally take care of yourself. Estate planning, while you are still here, is the only true way to ensure your chosen family is provided for and protected.
How An Attorney Can Help LGBTGIA+ Families with Estate Planning
Planning for the future is extremely important in this day and age. Louisiana law can be difficult to understand by yourself and an experienced estate planning attorney can give your family peace knowing that your future is protected. An attorney can consult with you and your family and provide you with a plan to protect not only your assets when you die, but also help you set up directives that dictate what you want to happen should you become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself or your family.
Progeny Law Firm helps LGBTGIA+ families with estate planning in Baton Rouge, LA. Call (225) 465-1090 or contact us online for a free consultation.
- Marriage, Divorce, and Parenthood: Estate Planning During Life Changes - September 28, 2023
- What is a Power of Attorney and Why Do I Need One? - September 21, 2023
- Choosing the Right Executor for Your Will - September 14, 2023