Honoring Your Wishes & Protecting Your Rights
Estate planning is important for everyone, and it is especially critical for LGBT+ individuals and couples who want to ensure that their wishes are followed and that their families are protected. The LGBT+ community has made tremendous strides in securing its constitutional rights, including the right to marry. Unfortunately, despite this progress, LGBT+ individuals still face challenges when it comes to our legal system. Having a well-considered estate plan is one way to make sure that your lived reality aligns with the equality and rights you deserve.
Because so many of our nations statutes, court decisions and decision makers favor a traditional, hetero-normative viewpoint, having an estate plan in place is of particular importance for:
- Members of the LGBT+ community
- Blended families
- Committed couples who choose to remain unmarried
- Individuals with children from a prior relationship
Denver estate planning attorney Keenan Copple is ready to provide creative solutions so you can establish an estate plan that fits you and your family’s unique needs and circumstances. Schedule a consultation to discuss how she can help you ensure that your loved ones are protected and receive what they’re entitled to. Call (303) 819-6415 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.
Prevent Unnecessary Complications
Creating an estate plan can save your spouse, partner, children, parents, siblings, and extended family a ton of frustration, discussion, and outright fights over your intentions. You can give them a directive that specifies your wishes without confusion or consternation. While it’s sometimes tough to think of estate planning in a positive light, it absolutely is a good thing. You’re giving your family a gift in the form of straightforward instructions on how to handle your affairs and share your memory.
Even if you are married, not having an estate plan can make it difficult for your family to care for you if you’re sick, make funeral and burial arrangements for you, or to receive the property that you’d like for them to have.
If you become incapacitated, it can be difficult or even impossible for your partner to manage your affairs, to make important decisions on your behalf, or even to have access to you if you don’t have a clearly directed estate plan. Suddenly, your life of mutual affection and support might be threatened by legalistic nonsense and someone else’s agenda, greed, or misunderstanding of your intentions. Even if you’re married, having an estate plan can be important evidence of a couple’s commitment if there is a situation where your marital benefits and rights are questioned or challenged.
How Estate Planning Can Help You
Thoughtful, thorough estate planning can help LGBT+ individuals and couples avoid many problems when it comes to ensuring the distribution of assets. Your estate plan is a formal, legal declaration of your independence and your commitment to your partner. No one, not even a family member, has the right to interfere with that.
For married LGBT+ individuals, estate planning using carefully drafted wills and trust documents can ensure that you receive the benefits and treatment that you’re entitled to under state and federal law as a married couple.
For unmarried LGBT+ individuals, considerate estate planning is necessary to ensure that your partner has legal rights to the assets that you intend to pass onto them while avoiding costly probate or tax liability where possible.
Important Estate Planning Tools
A thorough estate plan for LGBT+ individuals and couples should include some or all of the following documents:
- Last Will and Testament – A document in which you direct how your real and personal property is distributed upon your passing. If you are unmarried, you and your partner will need a will if either or both of you wish for your partner to inherit your property. Wills are still advisable for married couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex.
- Advance Directive for Healthcare – Allows you to nominate someone to make medical decisions and end-of-life choices in the event that you are unable to express your wishes at the time care is required. If you are in a same-sex relationship, it is important to have a medical power of attorney in place regardless of your marital status.
- Financial Power of Attorney – Allows you to designate someone who has the authority to make financial and/or contractual decisions on your behalf, usually (but not necessarily) when you are no longer capable of making those decisions for yourself.
- Designation of Guardian – Allows you to nominate someone to care for your children if you pass away. The court will look to this document when it determines what is in the best interests of your minor children.
Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation
Contact The Law Office of Keenan Copple PC today to learn more about the importance of estate planning for the LGBT+ community.
It is important that you ensure that your relationships with your loved ones and your wishes for them are respected when you pass away and if you ever become incapacitated. For LGBT+ couples, estate planning is especially critical. Due to bigotry and prejudice your relationships or your wishes may not be acknowledged absent a written estate plan.
Contact The Law Office of Keenan Copple PC today at (303) 819-6415 to schedule a consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options and how estate planning can best protect you and your family.