For LGBT individuals and families in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, estate planning is as essential as it is for anyone else. If you are an LGBT individual of adult age, you need an estate plan in place so you can protect yourself, and your loved ones, regardless of what the future holds. Whether you are married, single, have children, are childless, or anything else, every LGBT person in North Carolina needs to understand what estate planning can do, and why it’s so important to have one in place as soon as possible.
LGBT Estate Planning and Same-Sex Marriage
As of October 2014, the state of North Carolina has officially recognized the ability of citizens to enter into same-sex marriages. Further, because of United State’s Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, federal law similarly recognizes the rights of those in same-sex relationships to receive the same protections as other married couples that had previously not been afforded to same-sex married couples prior to the court’s decision.
In other words, LGBT couples have the same basic abilities to protect themselves and their families by crafting an estate plan as their heterosexual peers. While there are some complications that remain with LGBT estate planning in light of the changing landscape surrounding same-sex marriage, LGBT couples who wish to be married are, today, able to craft comprehensive estate plans. Further, if you are an LGBT individual, or couple living outside of marriage, you also have the same ability to make a plan that protects you and your loved ones.
LGBT Estate Planning Issues
LGBT estate planning looks at the same essential issues as every other estate plan. These issues include inheritances, incapacitation, health care decisions, probate, estate taxes, tax planning, and more. Crafting an LGBT estate plan is simply a matter of speaking to your estate planning attorney, asking questions, evaluating your options, and making choices about the kind of plan you want to create.
One of the most important issues facing an LGBT individual or couple crafting a plan is your marital status. If you are single and living with a romantic partner, for example, your partner does not have the automatic rights afforded to him or her as a spouse does. However, you can give your partner the same rights of spouse would have by crafting an effective estate plan.
Similarly, if you are in LGBT individual or couple and are considering marriage, you should understand that becoming married will automatically affect your estate planning rights and abilities. For example, spouses have the automatic right to inherit from one another upon the other spouse’s death. This is not a right afforded to couples living together in a romantic relationship outside of marriage.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you create an Estate Plan that protects your legacy and loved ones. Call us at 336-547-9999 or send us a message on our Contact Us page to schedule a consultation.
We also hold free seminars every month. Please join us to learn more about your estate planning options.