Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Illinois since 2014. This means that it is now legal for two people of the same sex to be married in the state. However, this does not necessarily mean that same-sex couples do not need to pay attention to certain factors that could affect them specifically.
If you are starting to plan your estate as a same-sex couple, you must understand the complications and challenges that may affect you. In doing this, you will be better equipped to make choices in your estate plan that will be advantageous.
What complications or challenges may I face when planning my estate as a same-sex couple?
If you have been in a partnership for many years but your marriage has only been recognized recently, you may have concerns about access to retirement assets if your spouse passes away. Issues like this may create complications for same-sex couples, but they can be addressed in the will.
Many of the issues that same-sex couples face in estate planning revolve around child custody. You may have adopted children, or you may have children that are biologically related to one of you. Naturally, you may worry about future custody rights if you are not biologically related to your children. Estate planning can go a long way toward putting your mind at ease.
Finally, you may have certain wishes regarding how you would like to be remembered after you pass away. For example, if you are transgender, it is, of course, important that you are remembered as your true gender rather than your birth gender.
What estate planning tools could help me to address these issues?
There are many tools that you can use to address the concerns that you have about your future and your legacy. For example, you may want to pre-plan aspects of your funeral or create a guardianship plan for your child.
Estate planning, in contrast to popular belief, does not need to be daunting or intimidating. It can be a very life-affirming endeavor that helps you to confirm your wishes. The earlier you take action to plan your estate, the better.