As you gather your laundry list of items to complete before sitting down with your spouse and an attorney to go over your estate plan, there are some dos and don’ts that LGBTQ couples need to know. Here are the dos and don’ts of estate planning for LGBTQ couples.
What You Need To Do
Before planning out your will, trust, or deciding on assets, there are a few things to do before planning the estate.
Research Your State’s Laws
The first thing to remember is that you and your spouse have rights. So, before contacting a legal firm about a will, research your state’s laws, as it can play a role in how LGBT couples distribute assets. It also affects the custody of children if they’re under 18 or have special needs.
When researching, make a note of laws and list questions to ask your attorney to see if you need more documents.
When working with an attorney, they must offer you and your family accurate services. The attorneys at Vancouver Wills and Trusts have faith in their estate planning for LGBT couples in Vancouver.
We want to help in every way to ensure that we have each asset prepared thoroughly and everything’s verified. Without a proper attorney, a judge may look at the estate of a loved one and say it’s not valid. So, to help streamline the process, do your research on each attorney you come across and hire one that works with you.
As time goes on, many couples may forget to record assets, primarily through significant life events. Unfortunately, your beneficiary may lose the house when you don’t include it in your asset records.
So, take the time to list your assets, including the following.
- Digital assets
- Checking and savings
What Not To Do
Here are the things to not do when preparing an estate. They help with the process and help with communication between clients and attorneys.
Make Changes Without Consent
It’s harsh, but it’s essential to talk to your attorney to make changes if you need the estate altered. Attorneys are here to help make your estate planning simple, so ensure you talk with your lawyer about any potential changes or updates you need to make.
List One Beneficiary
If we have one beneficiary that cannot take on our assets after we pass, we face the assets becoming probated, which means they go to a judge who decides if everything’s valid and declares how it’s divided.
A probate hearing can last months, so ensure your list is longer than one person so another can inherit assets if the first choice can’t take on your estate.
After reading the dos and don’ts of estate planning for LGBTQ couples, reach out to us about starting your estate plan with your partner.
Vancouver Wills and Trusts provide exemplary services, especially for LGBTQ couples. Contact us for more insight.