LGBT Estate Planning

LGBT Estate Planning

LGBT Estate Planning

by | Inheritance

LGBT relationship law is constantly changing and evolving, at very different paces around the world.  If you are an LGBT family, staying aware of relevant law changes and rights is vital.  However, as fast as the law can change, society moves much faster.

There are some areas of law that change very little.  Will and estate planning law is one of those areas.  For example UK will writing is still based on the Wills Act of 1837.  Slow paced indeed.  So regardless of any uncertainty around other areas of your life, LGBT couples can act now to plan their legacies with some certainty.

There are many reasons for making a will and estate plan, with or without the benefits afforded by being married.  For a same sex couple or for partners raising children who are not formally adopted, making a will ensures that they are provided for in the event of either partner dying.  Whether you are married or not will also have a big impact on your plans.  Many countries inheritance law is marriage orientated and without a will your partner may not receive the legacy you wanted to leave under the normal distribution provisions.

As your will is going to reference longstanding legal precedents, it is important that your will expresses your wishes clearly.  The archaic legal language in use may not currently have the terminology to express why you are leaving your estate to your life long partner, not blood relatives or a spouse.  Your will writer will need to acknowledge this and minimise any family opposition that may be raised by addressing it formally in the text of your will.

Your will is a good place to express your guardianship wishes for children.  However for same sex couples where it is possible only one parent has biological rights, adoption may need to be part of your estate plan to legally confirm the relationship of the child and parent.  For LGBT families requiring second parent adoption, a specialist lawyer will be required.

An LGBT estate plan may need to extend further than just a will for each partner.  Consider living wills and power of attorney for both partners.  In the event that you become incapacitated, your partner may not be included in any legal decisions without having been afforded that right by you when you could.

If, as an LGBT couple, you were planning to wing it, and write a DIY will or use an internet template, my advice to you is get advice!  It is rare that these forms are sufficient for any situation, least of all one where the law is still evolving to meet your needs.  Everyone’s estate planning situation is unique and should be treated as such.

 

 

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Testimonials

"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK...

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

2018-06-05T07:59:04+00:00

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK tax specialist) to keep my English and Cambodian assets completely separate. Cindy was able to work through all of that with me and I am confident that I now have everything properly covered."
"Cindy is knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly helpful, and highly professional. She helped me to understand the implications of my requests and...

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

2018-06-05T08:30:28+00:00

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

"Cindy is knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly helpful, and highly professional. She helped me to understand the implications of my requests and was always on hand to offer guidance and support. All in all an excellent service."
"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a...

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

2018-06-05T08:37:50+00:00

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a project we all can easily put off, it removed an area of stress in my life. I no longer had to wonder if certain people would be taken care of, or where my money would go. Cindy and I worked through the process and she asked a lot of thought provoking questions. The first draft helped me think a second layer down, and made the will more complete. We finalised with her lawyer, signed, witnessed and put away in a safe place, letting my executor know exactly where to find it. I do not hesitate to recommend Cindy’s services."
"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid...

Moray Iles, Vietnam

2018-06-05T08:42:23+00:00

Moray Iles, Vietnam

"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid putting pressure or hassle to complete the Will quickly which allowed us to consider everything in our own time. Best of all, Cindy's professional support and thorough and clear explanation of the laws pertaining to our situation were very helpful. We would look forward to working with Cindy again on documents personal to our family."
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