With June being Pride month, we wanted to take a few moments to discuss the importance of Life Planning, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ individuals and families.
While we certainly (and obviously!) recommend that every individual have a complete Life Plan in place, there are certain challenges that same-sex couples could face, such as adoption or navigating difficult familial dynamics, which make planning for the future even more critical.
A Pew Research Survey shows that four-in-ten LGBTQ+ individuals have been rejected by a family member(s) due to their sexual orientation, which can lead to serious ramifications when it comes to their Life Planning and probating their estate. A negative familial dynamic could cause a same-sex couple’s Life Plan to be more open to sabotage, such as:
- A family member contesting a Will, if they do not recognize the validity of the same-sex couple’s relationship;
- A spouse’s medical or financial decisions could become affected or influenced by a family member; or
- Custody battles over non-biological children, should anything happen to the biological parent
While the Life Planning components for a heterosexual couple are not different than those of a same-sex couple, same-sex couples should make an effort to review their plan, especially if previously drafted before 2015 (Obergefell v. Hodges), as there is specific language that your Life Planning documents should include.
If you have questions about Life Planning, attorney Mark F. Moss can help you understand what options you have available. To arrange a confidential consultation over the phone or in person in Jacksonville, please call 904-329-7242 or inquire online today.
*Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only. It is best to speak with an attorney about your specific situation, questions, assets, concerns, and needs.