This article appeared on today’s Business Page of the Akron Beacon Journal. I decided to post it to remind our friends to have their estate planning in order. It is so important.
Estate planning is even more imperative for same-sex couples than for straight spouses. Gay couples don’t have the tax and inheritance advantages that marriage conveys,” says Washington attorney Tanya Harvey. Harvey recommends that gay families start by consulting a lawyer on three key issues:
Power of attorney. Assigning your partner a power of attorney for health care is relatively simple. Most hospitals allow only family members related by blood or marriage to visit patients in critical care.
The pros and cons of domestic partnership. While domestic partnerships often convey a variety of inheritance, employment and tax benefits, they are difficult to dissolve in some states.
What happens to your legacy? It is essential that each partner has a valid, up-to-date, signed and witnessed will. If you die without a will providing for your mate, the state determines what will happen to your money and property.