Same-sex couples now have the right to legally marry. With that new right comes the responsibility of looking at the future, and that could include estate planning. Same-sex couples in Louisiana may be wise to have clearly stated and concise estate plan documents that ensure their last wishes are taken into consideration, especially if children are involved.
A will is typically a given in an estate plan, but same-sex partners might also reinforce their wills with other legal documents such as a powers of attorney and trusts. A power of attorney gives a spouse — or any other designated person — the ability to make decisions on behalf of the party granting the power should he or she be unable to do so. A trust may be especially important for same-sex couples since it will give them a place to house their assets. A trust may also make things more difficult to contest. If one partner dies, contesting it is more of a challenge since trusts usually don’t go through the probate process.
If the couple wishes to have each other make medical decisions for the other, they might also look into having either living wills or a health care surrogate. Both can stipulate health care providers are able to share information with a partner. When children are involved, it may be that only one individual is biologically related, so giving thought to having the other parent formally adopt the child may have great merit.
Estate planning for same-sex couples in Louisiana can be more complicated than for heterosexual couples. An attorney may be able to provide some clarity regarding the documents that should accompany an estate plan. Getting solid advice is much more sensible than winging it.