In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages in all 50 states. The landmark decision concludes, “No union is more profound than marriage … Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Married gay couples in Florida now enjoy the same rights and options as opposite-sex couples, such as access to proper estate planning and tax benefits. Estate planning may need special crafting for same-sex couples and LGBT families.
Challenges to same-sex couples’ estate planning
Same-sex couples may have unique estate planning issues that require special safeguards. For example, interference from unsupportive family members may result in:
- Contested wills
- Custody battles over non-biological children
- Undermining a spouse’s ability to make medical and financial decisions for a partner
Comprehensive LGBT Estate Planning
Careful estate planning for same-sex couples may include:
- Wills and trusts to transfer your property at death
- Powers of attorney and health care surrogates
- Living wills and health care directives
- Life estate deeds that pass property automatically to a designated recipient
- Stepparent adoption process
The LGBT community has worked relentlessly and passionately to achieve legitimacy and equal rights. If you are a same-sex couple—married or domestic partners—you can secure your hard-earned assets and the well-being of your children by educating yourselves regarding your estate planning options. Astute estate planning can provide protection and peace of mind for you and your family.