When it comes to estate planning, same-sex couples in Georgia typically have all of the same concerns that opposite-sex couples do. Every couple must consider who will inherit their assets and how those assets will be dispersed. If a couple has children, planning for their future well-being is of the utmost importance.
Same-sex couples may have extra concerns
In many cases, same-sex couples have extra work to do when it comes to estate planning. If the couple is not married or they have non-biological children together, these factors can complicate an estate plan. You should prepare to add more probate and estate planning to your schedule if you have family members who are hostile toward your partner or children.
Avoid probate by setting up a trust
The simplest way for a same-sex couple to avoid a public probate process is to establish a trust. Unlike a will, a trust is a private document that is not easily contested by hostile relatives. A trust allows for greater flexibility and more specificity when it comes to asset distribution. If you would like to leave assets to your spouse’s children who you haven’t legally adopted, for example, you can specify that in a trust. Otherwise, the probate process might disregard any family member who is not legally related to you.
Even with laws changing, not all committed same-sex couples have gotten married in the eyes of the state. Without a legal marriage document, it is especially important for a couple to ensure that all of the beneficiary designations on their financial documents are up to date. An estate planning attorney may be able to help a same-sex couple to ensure that their estate plan is complete.