Schromen Law, LLC is a supporter/ally of the LGBTQ community. We put in the work to competently and consciously represent individuals/couples in this community, and we strive to be intentionally supportive of and sensitive to gender expressions. We are always thrilled to help LGBTQ individuals and/or couples with their estate planning needs — from pre- or post-nuptial agreements to wills and trusts.
In honor of Pride Month, here are 5 quick estate planning tips to keep in mind.
- Talk about finances. While these aren’t always easy conversations to have, it’s important to sit down together to discuss your expenses as a couple. These are issues that should be discussed, whether you are legally married or not. What expenses and debts would remain if one of you were to die? And would there be enough money to cover those expenses? What kind of life insurance policies are in place, and who is named as beneficiaries? Working with a financial planner who has experience helping LGBTQ individuals and couples can help with this process. Ask for a referral from a friend, check out the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, or reach out to Schromen Law, LLC for a recommendation.
- Check your beneficiaries. Do you have IRAs, 401(k)s, and life insurance policies you haven’t thought about for a while? If so, check that you’ve named the appropriate beneficiaries. Again, these are steps to be taken whether you are married or not. This will allow your surviving partner quicker access to these benefits at a time when it might be necessary. Assets without named beneficiaries may have to go through probate, so save your loved one some unnecessary stress by checking on that now. Don’t forget to check on your digital assets as well.
- Plan for long-term illness. Would you be prepared if you or your spouse/partner suffered a long-term illness? While some employees provide long-term care benefits, it’s still a good idea to make sure you and your spouse or partner have all of your bases covered. It might be time to talk to a long-term care agent to research your options — from basic plans to more expensive policies that cover home health care. Again, ask for a referral from a friend, check out the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, or reach out to Schromen Law, LLC for a recommendation.
- Get your will or trust updated. We never want to think of the unthinkable, but the truth is, none of us will live forever. Even if you don’t have a multi-million-dollar estate, you still need documents in place to make sure your specific plans will be followed. If you’ve been married before or have children from a previous relationship, you will want to work with a seasoned attorney like Rachel Schromen to make sure your assets are going to your desired loved ones upon your death. Whether you have a huge estate or a small one, get these documents lined up so you and your loved ones have peace of mind. These documents will help protect the rights and protections you deserve as a spouse, partner, and/or parent.
- Don’t forget the other documents. While it’s important to have a will or trust in place, other documents — like Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives — are needed to give legal authority for financial and health-related decisions. Working with an estate attorney like Rachel Schromen will make sure your loved one has the legal authority to make decisions if you become seriously ill. Again, the peace of mind that will come from knowing your rights are protected is definitely worth it!
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.