When the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to get married, many problems those couples faced were finally resolved. For the first time, gay couples had legal protections in case one of them passed away.
The laws of intestate succession would protect them, in case they did not have an estate plan.
Couples were also given more rights to information about the health of the other, so they could assist in the treatment plan if one or the other of them got seriously ill.
However, not all potential estate planning issues for same-sex couples are fully resolved, as Cleveland Jewish News discusses in “Same-sex couples could face estate planning road blocks.”
One of the biggest problems remains child custody.
Prior to legalizing same-sex marriage, it was not normally allowed for both partners in a same-sex relationship to be put on the birth certificate of a newborn.
This has important implications for any children born prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.
The automatic right of custody of children in the event the spouse whose name is on the birth certificate passes away, cannot be assumed for the other spouse.
Of course, this is an ever bigger problem for same-sex couples who have chosen not to get married. They still have all of the other potential issues that existed previously.
It is extremely important that same-sex couples see an estate planning attorney.
The law is more favorable than it used to be, but it is not yet perfect at protecting their rights.
Reference: Cleveland Jewish News (Sep. 9, 2017) “Same-sex couples could face estate planning road blocks.”