When a Florida resident passes away without having a will, certain family members might be able to inherit their estate. These include the decedent’s spouse, kids, or siblings. But it largely depends on what their marital status was at the time of death, as well as the relatives that are still alive. The issue, however, has to do with gay and lesbian couples.
Before society expanded its view on same-sex relationships and marriage, a situation like that described above would automatically result in the decedent’s siblings getting their estate, even if they had been estranged for many years. At one time, this was the case even if the surviving gay or lesbian partner was in the decedent’s life for many years and even helped raise children together.
Today, though, much has changed. As such, it is a lot easier for same-sex couples to be recognized as legal families. What’s more, it’s also a lot easier for same-sex couples to be recognized in matters involving the management of estates.
At Doane & Doane, we are here to help same-sex couples in such matters. We want to help you legalize your relationship to ensure that your estate planning needs are fully met. In addition, we want to assist you in making the best decisions for you and your family.
Below, you will find estate planning steps that LGBTQ+ families can’t afford to take. By taking action now and following these steps, you can ensure a secure future for your loved ones. First, let’s discuss estate planning and what it means.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a legal process that allows you to effectively protect your assets after you die. With an estate plan in place, you can rest easy knowing your property and assets will be distributed according to your wishes. What’s more, your estate plan establishes the person or persons you choose to control your assets when you die. This is often a tough decision to make on its own. But it’s even more challenging when you have other family members who disagree on where your estate should go when you die.
This is when it’s in your best interest to have an experienced estate planning attorney in your corner. At Doane & Doane, we are dedicated to helping our clients make the best decisions in their estate planning. We act as an unbiased party that guides and directs you in making calls that best suit your wishes.
Now that you know the importance of estate planning, let’s move on to the steps that every LGBTQ+ couple should consider taking. You will find that you can benefit from these steps in your estate planning needs to ensure a smoother process in the future.
Establish a Will
When writing a will, the probate court has to honor your instructions. But you want to make certain that you go through the proper legal channels to formalize your will. Your estate planning attorney will assist you in this matter to ensure that you do so. And by doing so, you can trust that your property will go to whomever or wherever you choose. You don’t have to be married to your same-sex partner. But you do have to state in your will whether your assets to go them when you die.
Formalize Your Children’s Legal Parenthood
If you’re not quite ready to create a will, there is another step that will benefit your estate planning wishes. And that step is to formalize legal parenthood if you raise children together. If you haven’t already taken steps to establish yourself and your same-sex partner as parents, doing so will make it easier to list your children as beneficiaries in your estate plan.
As such, you can make it easy for your children to inherit your estate in the event that you die. For matters such as this, you should have an estate planning attorney to assist you in walking you through the steps you need to take to make the necessary changes.
We encourage you to contact Doane & Doane with any questions regarding your estate planning needs. We are experienced in all matters of estate planning and can provide the legal counsel you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones.
Doane & Doane Is Stuart’s Trusted Source for Estate Planning
Doane & Doane was founded in 2003 remains one of the most trusted and respected estate planning firms in Southeast Florida. If you need assistance establishing an estate plan, protecting your assets, or any other related issues, please contact us at 561-656-0200. Alternatively, you can always fill out our online contact form, and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.
The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.