A legal marriage inherently affords certain rights to husbands and wives when a spouse dies without a Will or estate plan. The same cannot be said for LGBT couples, who must meet certain criteria to qualify as domestic partnerships under the law. Without solid legal documentation of your wishes for your partner, children, health care and finances, you and your loved ones could suffer needlessly in the event that you become incapacitated or die. Here are just six of the numerous reasons LGBT couples need to meet with Genders & Partners as soon as possible for Wills & estate planning in Adelaide.
1. Dying Intestate: If you die without a Will, your assets will not automatically go to your partner. He or she would first have to take legal steps to have the relationship recognised as a domestic partnership, which requires proof that you lived together as a couple for at least three years. Having children together complicates matters even further, as can interference from family members. A Will explicitly states your wishes so that there is no confusion on the matter, and your assets will go to whomever you choose rather than automatically to the next of kin.
2. Enduring Power of Attorney: If you want your partner to be able to make financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, you must create an enduring power of attorney granting him or her the lawful authority to sign documents and make decisions on your behalf of a legal or financial nature, as part of your estate plan. This measure will protect you & your assets and prevent greedy\pushy\judgemental family members from stepping in and making financial choices that do not benefit you, your partner or your children.
3. Medical, Health, Accommodation & Lifestyle Decisions: As with your finances, these areas of your life are likely something that you want to entrust to your life partner. Your Wills and estate planning lawyer in Adelaide can help you formulate an Advance Care Directive that outlines the kind of choices, decisions and arrangements you would prefer as well as who can legally make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
4. End-of-Life Health Care: Many people have firm views about the sort of care they would wish to receive at the end of their life. Many people hate & fear the idea of being kept alive on life-support unnecessarily. Your Wills and estate planning lawyer in Adelaide can help you formulate a Binding Direction in you Advance Care Directive that outlines the kind of care and living arrangements you prefer.
5. Minor Children: If you and your partner are raising children from previous relationships, the law can get complicated when it comes to awarding custody. Although the courts have the final say on custody matters, they will seriously consider your wishes for the guardianship of your children, so it is imperative that you make your desires known in your Will.
6. Financial Security: If you are the breadwinner of the family, would your partner and children be able to survive financially if you suddenly pass away? Are you aware that your life insurance and superannuation might not automatically be paid to your partner? Your estate plan can include setting up trusts and life insurance policies for the ones you love to make sure that they can maintain their current standards of living without you.
Adelaide Wills & Estate Planning Advice
At Genders & Partners, we make it a priority to stay current with the ever-changing laws on LGBT relationships. With extensive experience in Wills, trusts, estate planning, probate & deceased estates in Adelaide, your lawyer will handle your estate planning process with the utmost professionalism and compassion to ensure that your assets and your family are protected. To learn more, contact us today to schedule your no-obligation telephone consultation.