Estate Planning For Gay & Lesbian Couples

Estate planning for gay and lesbian couples who have not entered into a civil union or registered as domestic partners “save money and provide for your loved ones”.

As average Americans, we work 80,000 hours in a lifetime, or 45 to 55 years. In spite of all the resources and assets we earn, the vast majority of Americans with assets do not take the time to create a Will. National statistics indicate that 80% of Americans die without leaving a Will. There are several reasons for this: fear of death; procrastination; and misinformation (people presume that only the rich or married with children need to have Wills). Whatever the excuse, it is clear that people would benefit from having a Will.

In the absence of a Will or other legal arrangement to distribute property at death, your partner cannot receive any assets and cannot administer your estate. The result can be lengthy delays and other problems. Individuals in gay or lesbian relationships need properly drafted Wills and estate planning documents more than straight persons. The probate laws generally provide if a person dies without a Will, their property goes to family, rather than a partner they had a relationship with for years or decades.

IF YOU HAVE NO WILL:

If you leave no Will or your Will is declared invalid because it was improperly prepared or is not admissible to probate:

* State law determines who gets assets, not you

* Additional expenses will be incurred and extra work will be required to qualify an administrator
* Possible additional State inheritance taxes and Federal estate taxes

* If you have no s Civil Union , spouse, or close relatives the State may take your property

* The procedure to distribute assets becomes more complicated-and the law makes no exceptions for persons in unusual need or for your own wishes.

* It may also cause fights and lawsuits between your partner and your family

When your loved ones are grieving and dealing with death, they shouldn’t be overwhelmed with disputes over property and Financial concerns. Careful estate planning helps take care of that.

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