Everyone needs an estate plan regardless of age, marital status, economic bracket, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Everyone in Maryland benefits by having a will, various trusts that are relevant to their specific needs, and a professional probate administrator to assist the executor of their will. However, there are a number of particular scenarios in which those in the LGBTQ community need to pay extra attention when it comes to estate planning.
Same Sex Marriages and Children From Previous Marriages
Same sex marriages are slightly more divorce-resistant than different sex marriages, according to the Williams Institute, but many LGTBQ people who are in second marriages do have biological children from previous relationships. As such, a spouse with a biological child needs to create a will that provides for the continued involvement of their current spouse in their child’s life after they, the testator, has passed away. In some cases, the court will even grant guardianship to a non-biological parent over the biological parent, but only in rare circumstances.
Is Only One Parent a Legal Guardian of Your Adopted Children?
Adoption is common among same sex couples. Often, only a single spouse or partner is a legal guardian for one reason or another. You may be the legal guardian of your adopted child, yet share the parenting responsibilities with your partner equally even if they are not a legal guardian. If your surviving spouse is not a legal guardian and you die without listing them in your will, it could spell disaster for them and their child. As such, it is important to list your spouse as the guardian in your will if that is your wish.
Why Same Sex Partners Need to Be Included in Wills
In the past, when same sex marriage was not recognized by state and federal laws, and even in the years after, non marital relationships were much more prevalent than marriages among the LGBTQ society. That is changing, albeit slowly. Now, 10.2 percent of same sex couples in the U.S. are married, according to a new Gallup poll. However, this is still a smaller percentage than those in different sex marriages, according to UPI. As such, more LGBTQ people are in non marital relationships. If one of the partners in such a non marital relationship dies and does not have a will, the deceased partner’s assets will go straight to their family members, leaving their partner with nothing.
Call the Maryland Estate Planning Lawyers of Frame and Frame Today
Estate planning is complex, and you may have many questions about the best way to care for your loved ones and ensure your wishes are carried out in accordance with the laws. The Maryland estate planning attorneys at Frame & Frame can answer your questions and help you create the ideal estate plan for your needs. Call us at 410-255-0373 to set up a consultation today. Additionally, our free estate planning guide is chock full of valuable information in the meantime. Download your free copy at FrameandFrame.com today.