Protect Your Relationship with LGBT Wills, Trusts, and Deeds - dummies

Protect Your Relationship with LGBT Wills, Trusts, and Deeds

By Carrie Stone, John G. Culhane

Part of Same-Sex Legal Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A good estate plan allows you to arrange, in advance, for the easy and uncomplicated transfer of your property to your family of choice after your death. To make an estate plan that functions to protect those you want to protect, whether it be your best friends, your partner and children, or someone else, you need to create specific legal documents that clearly spell out your wishes for how your property will be managed and to who will inherit it. A properly designed plan also lets you appoint someone you trust to make sure your instructions are carried out.

Estate planning documents generally include but are not limited to the following:

  • Last will and testament (will): This legal document lets you appoint someone to manage and settle your estate. You can also name someone you want to inherit your property, appoint a guardian for your child, and say whether you want to be buried or cremated. A will is subject to the probate process, which is a court proceeding that happens after your death to determine whether your will is valid.

  • Living revocable trust: This document is a written agreement where one person (the trustee) agrees to take care of property belonging to the person who signs the trust (the grantor). In most living trusts, the grantor and trustee is the same person. A living revocable trust lets you organize your money and property so that your trustee can easily manage them. Most importantly, a trust avoids probate and allows for the efficient transfer of your property to your beneficiaries after your death.

You can create wills and trusts to protect your relationship and your rights in these ways:

  • Consult with an attorney experienced in LGBT estate planning.

  • Make your own will or trust with legal document software.

  • Order documents from a reputable document preparation service like Rainbow Law.