Although married same-gender couples are now enjoying nearly all of the same rights as opposite-gender couples, there is still one key right that’s still up in the air—the automatic right to be legal parents. While parental rights are automatically bestowed upon the biological parent, the non-biological spouse/parent still faces a number of challenges when it comes to obtaining full parental rights. Luckily, same-gender couples do have an alternative to adoption—estate planning.
Although same-gender marriage is legally recognized in all 50 states, long-held prejudice at both political and family levels continues to create complications for married and unmarried same-gender couples. With this, especially if you're a member LGBTQ+ community, estate planning is even more critical for you and your beloved to ensure that they will be protected and provided for in the event of your death or incapacity.
Whether it’s to qualify for Medicaid, avoid probate, or reduce your tax burden, transferring ownership of your home to your adult child during your lifetime may seem like a smart move. But in nearly all cases, it’s actually a huge mistake, which can lead to dire consequences for everyone involved. With this in mind, before you sign over the title to your family’s beloved homestead, consider the following potential risks.
It's easy to prioritize other business matters over estate planning when you're running a business. But, in reality, one of your most pressing responsibilities is to consider what would happen to your business if you became incapacitated or died. Although estate planning and business planning may be two distinct tasks, they're inevitably linked. And, because your company is likely your family's most valuable asset, estate planning is critical not only for your company, but also for your family.
While the DIY approach might be a good idea if you're looking to build a new deck for your backyard, it's actually one of the worst choices you can make when it comes to estate planning. Are you willing to put your family's well-being and wealth at risk just to save a few bucks? If you want to do the right thing for those you truly love, contact your Personal Family Lawyer to get your Life and Legacy Planning started.
Creating your estate plan using online document services can give you a false sense of security—you think you've got estate planning covered when you most likely do not. Keep in mind, just because you created "legal" estate planning documents online, that doesn't mean they'll work when you or your loved ones need them. Without a clear knowledge of your family dynamics, nature of your assets, and how the legal process works upon your incapacity or death, you're likely to make serious mistakes.
Most people immediately think of taking legal steps to ensure the right people inherit their stuff when they die. Although that thought is not wrong, it also highlights the importance of planning for life. Planning that’s focused solely on who gets what when you die is ignoring that death isn’t the only thing you must prepare for. Consider that at some point before your eventual death, you could be incapacitated, which can drag out over many years, leaving you and your family in agonizing limbo.
While both wills and trusts are the most commonly used estate planning vehicles to pass on wealth and other assets to your loved ones, putting your home in a trust has several distinct benefits compared to using a will. However, each family's circumstances are different. This is why your Personal Family Lawyer® will not create any documents until we know what you need and what will be the most affordable solution for you and your family—now and in the future—based on your family's conditions.
The pandemic has caused Americans to change their behavior in different ways, and one of the most positive of these changes is related to estate planning. While many people said that the pandemic inspired them to see a greater need for creating an estate plan, others still don't think that estate planning is important. But as we've outlined here, not having an estate plan can be traumatic and costly for both you and your loved ones, who will be forced to deal with the mess you've left behind.
When you hear the words "trust fund," do you conjure images of stately mansions and party yachts? A trust fund - or trust - is a great estate planning tool for many people with a wide range of incomes who want to accomplish a specific purpose with their money. There are many reasons to create a trust, and being rich isn't necessarily one of them. You just need to consult an estate planning attorney to help you identify the best unique strategies for you and your family.