Protecting The Estates Of Same-Sex Couples
Today’s families come in many shapes, and at the law office of Paul V. L. Campo Attorney At Law we understand and welcome this reality. Estate planning for LGBT clients is both the same yet different than that for heterosexual married couples. Today, if a same-sex couple wants to marry, they may do so and their marriage is legal across the country. Planning from a legal and financial perspective has been made easier; nevertheless, there are still issues of wealth disparity, health care, aging, and family origin that are similar to those facing heterosexual couples, but always with a slight difference.
At the law office of Paul V. L. Campo Attorney At Law we believe that the obvious conclusion is for LGBT couples to have their estate plans in place if they want to spare loved ones difficult decisions about care while alive but incapacitated, and unnecessary, long, and costly procedures at death.
Estate Planning Solves Problems for the LGBT Community
An LGBT couple can avoid numerous problems through proper estate planning:
- For a married same-sex couple, proper estate planning will ensure that they receive all of the state and federal benefits of their marriage while avoiding probate, maintaining their privacy, and protecting their assets.
- For an unmarried same-sex couple, proper estate planning will ensure that their partner will have legal rights to make health care decisions, to manage their partner’s assets during incapacity, and inherit assets from the other while avoiding probate.
- A living trust can nominate the spouse or partner as a co-trustee to help manage their spouse’s or partner’s financial affairs if the spouse or partner should become incapacitated.
- An advance health care directive can avoid potential problems if a spouse or partner does become incapacitated. The directive allows a spouse or partner to appoint the other spouse, partner, or someone else whom they trust to make health care decisions on their behalf if they should become incapacitated. This would prevent potential problems, such as not giving a spouse or partner access to his or her incapacitated spouse or partner.
- A proper estate plan will ensure that the couple’s assets are distributed to whom they want, when and how they want, just as it does for heterosexual couples.
- A living trust guarantees privacy, through avoidance of probate and its process of public court records. This benefits any same-sex couple who wishes to keep their relationship, assets, and distribution confidential.
Estate Planning for Unmarried Same-Sex Couples
While you may view your partner the same, whether you are married or not, the law does not view your partner the same way. California does not recognize common law marriage. This means that if you or your partner should die without proper estate planning, the survivor would likely receive nothing. Even worse, the well partner may be kept away from his or her sick partner because of family prejudice. At the law office of Paul V. L. Campo Attorney At Law we know that both married and unmarried same-sex couples need an estate plan that is specifically tailored to their needs and wishes.
Put An Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer On Your Side
We look forward to explaining your options and building a plan for protecting your loved ones and assets. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Our firm handles estate planning and related issues for clients in North County San Diego and beyond.
What Our Clients Say | Legal Associations
“Thank you for your services in managing the probate of my mother’s estate. Your professionalism and fairness are much appreciated.”
– Probate Client
“As a client of Paul’s in my capacity as a Professional Fiduciary, he has guided me through the intricacies of trust administration on many occasions.”
Patty, California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (CLPF)
– Trust Administration Client
“Mr. Campo did a great job on my estate planning. He was very thorough and made me aware of several things I hadn’t considered. I highly recommend him.”
– Estate Planning/Trust Administration Client
“The service I received goes beyond professionalism. It’s all about caring for my wishes and goals and coming up with the ideal estate plan for me.”
Carol, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)
– Estate Planning Client
“I am very grateful to Attorney Paul Campo and his excellent staff for guiding me through the complex probate process.”
– Probate Client