As a person who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, it is important that you understand how to set up your estate plan in a way that is beneficial to you and your partner. Many LGBTQ+ people do not choose to get married, so they may not have many of the same legal protections as those who do. This is something to keep in mind as you approach estate planning issues, since you may need to set up additional protections.
What can you do to make sure your estate planning needs are met? The simple answer is to involve your partner or spouse in your estate planning discussions and to work with someone familiar with the law as well as how the law directly impacts people in your situation.
Add a will to your estate plan
A will is an important estate planning document for you to create since it allows you to designate how your assets pass on to others after your death. If you’re not married, there is no real guarantee that your partner will get those assets unless they are shared. So, to make sure they are your beneficiary, adding them to your will is a key component of a solid estate plan.
Look at your 401(k) and other financial accounts
It’s not a bad idea to look at your 401(k) beneficiary designations. You need to add your spouse or partner to make sure they receive the benefits.
You may have other accounts that need beneficiary designations as well. For example, your bank account, stocks and other assets may need to have someone assigned to them in case you pass away.
Remember to consider incapacity
Finally, don’t forget about considering incapacity and how that may impact you and/or your partner. Make sure you both have health care power of attorney documents in place as well as end-of-life documents. Such documents allow you to state your wishes for your care as well as your wishes surrounding your identity and chosen support network.
These are just a few of the things to consider while working on your estate plan as a person in the LGBTQ+ community. Estate planning can protect you and your partner, although you may need to be very detailed and specific in those documents to ensure your wishes are carried out.