At the Gage Firm, we see estate planning not as a dark, depressing business but as a chance to bring your family closer and prepare for the future. If you are in a same-sex relationship, it is even more important that you have a plan in place before your passing.
DOMA is over and the United States now recognizes gay marriage on a federal level. This was a major victory for the LGBT community. On the state level, however, Georgia continues to discriminate against gays and lesbians and their families with laws of intestacy. This means that when a gay individual passes intestate, his or her property does not go to the spouse and, in extreme cases, may even be transferred to the state instead.
It’s certainly not fun to hear that your relationship or marriage is considered no more than an acquaintance in the eyes of Georgia courts at the time being. The good news is that Georgia courts aim to respect the intent of the testator when he or she has drafted a will, and have not shown any movement toward negating the testator’s intent simply because that person has a same-sex life partner. The key is to have your will drafted by a professional attorney who understands the challenges of estate planning for LGBT families. Leaving your will up to chance or writing your will on your own just isn’t a very wise decision. When you get a will, you can pick whomever you want to leave property and exclude individuals from receiving your assets as well.
Of course, establishing a plan for your property isn’t nearly as important as planning for your children. Complications often arise concerning guardianship. The Gage Law Firm can thoroughly discuss the options, and potential pitfalls, regarding your children. You should know how Georgia law affects your guardian nominations, so that you have a clear understanding of how securely you can protect your child’s future upon your passing.
Our Estate Planning Packages for gay and lesbian families also include healthcare directives, durable powers of attorney and appointments of agent for each partner to ensure that your affairs can be tended to by your loved one in the event you are unable to do so.
The Gage Law Firm is LGBT owned and operated and fully committed to assisting the gay community. We take enormous pride in helping same-sex partners prepare for the unexpected. In most cases, we are able to complete an estate plan within 2-3 weeks of the initial consultation. To learn more about the specifics of an LGBT Estate Planning Package you can visit our Wills and Estate Planning page or contact us today to learn how we can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.