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.
As a parent, you're likely hoping to leave your children an inheritance, and doing so maybe one of the primary factors motivating your life's work. But without taking the proper precautions, the wealth you pass on is at serious risk of being accidentally lost or squandered due to common life events, such as divorce, serious debt, devastating illness, and unfortunate accidents.
Divorce can be one of life's most stressful events. With so many major changes taking place, it's easy to forget to update your estate plan—or simply put it off until it's too late. After all, dealing yet with another lawyer is probably the last thing you want to do. However, neglecting to update your estate plan for divorce can have tragic consequences. And you shouldn't wait until the divorce is final to rework your plan—you should update it as soon as you realize the split is inevitable.
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.
Whenever you have a partner or multiple owners in a business, one of the most important—but often overlooked—aspects of the relationship is planning for how it will end. It's crucial that you come up with a clear exit strategy, and do so at the start of your relationship when things are going well, and not wait until you encounter problems down the road. Indeed, the more thought you put into your exit plan ahead of time, the smoother things will be when one of you finally does move on.
No matter how well you think you know your loved ones, it's impossible to predict exactly how they'll behave when you die or become incapacitated. No one wants to believe that their family members would ever end up fighting one another in court over inheritance issues, but the fact is, we see it all the time. The best way to deal with estate planning disputes is to do everything possible to prevent family conflicts from making sure they never occur in the first place.
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.
If you're like many homeowners, your home is likely your family's most valuable and treasured asset. In light of this, you want to plan wisely to ensure your home will pass to your heirs in the most efficient and safe manner possible when you die or in the event you become incapacitated. That's why it's a much responsible way to include your home into your estate plan. But before you do that, make sure to identify the best estate planning strategies when passing your home to your loved ones.
With the new proposed legislation that is still under consideration and far from being finalized, if your family stands to be impacted by any of the new proposed bills, it's vital for you to take action as soon as possible to ensure that whatever changes to your planning that need to be made can be planned and executed before the year's end. If you've been following the news about the coming changes, you know that none of us know what will ultimately happen or even when we will know the outcome.