The topic of gay marriage has been very much in the news over the last few years. A small handful of states are currently recognizing these unions, but in most states (including Ohio) same-sex couples cannot get legally married.
Estate planning is important for everyone regardless of your sexual persuasion or marital status. However, it is absolutely essential for gay couples because of the fact that there are no built-in protections.
While it is not advisable for a married couple to go through life without an estate plan your spouse would in fact be first in line to inherit any resources that you left behind via intestacy laws of succession. Similarly, your husband or wife would be the individual that doctors would approach about medical decisions if you were to become incapacitated.
On the other hand, gay people who are in long-term committed partnerships have no such protections. And, even if you were legally married as a gay individual laws are always subject to change as we saw in the state of California.
The wise course of action is to simply take matters into your own hands and elucidate your wishes via the execution of legally binding documents. At the very least you should have some type of vehicle of asset transfer in place along with advance directives for healthcare stating your preference with regard to medical procedures.
If you are currently going through life without an estate plan, right now would be a good time to take action and arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced Cleveland OH estate planning lawyer who is sensitive to the needs of same-sex couples.
The O’Brien Law Firm, LLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.
Our blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advertising, solicitation or legal advice.