LGBTQ Estate Planning in Houston, TX
Protecting Your Assets in a Same-Sex Marriage
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Houston, TX since 2015 and new legal protections have been implemented to protect LGBTQ communities living in Texas. Unfortunately, same-sex discrimination still prevails in certain areas of the state.
To help protect yourself and your family, it would be helpful to hire an LGBTQ estate planning lawyer to assist you with asset division in the event that you pass away prematurely or unexpectedly. You should not have the validity of your marriage questioned let alone be unable to pass your estate on to your spouse. Our lawyers at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC promise to help you keep your estate in the family.
Estate Planning Services for LGBTQ Families in Houston
Lack of comprehensive estate planning can prove disastrous to any spouse or partner. For the LGBTQ community, estate planning is especially important if you and your partner are not married.
Estate planning can help you combat any issues you might face recognizing the validity of your marriage or partnership. If you are in a partnership, a strategy for your estate plan makes sure that health and financial decisions will fall into your partner’s hands, thus avoiding probate.
Estate planning services that you can put in place to avoid issues in the future for your family as an LGBTQ couple include:
- Living trusts – appoint your spouse/partner as your trustee allowing them to manage your financial and health affairs in the event that you become incapacitated
- Asset protection
- Medical power of attorney
- Child protection planning – choose who will care for your children if you die
Essential Estate Planning Pointers for LGBTQ Couples
Step one: Review your strategy with your lawyer. It is crucial that you and your spouse/partner make a pointed effort to review your estate planning strategy with a lawyer and complete all necessary paperwork. It would also benefit you to check these documents to determine if the language used (wife/husband/spouse as opposed to partner/boyfriend/girlfriend) is in accordance with Texas law.
Step two: Establish parentage if you have children. If you have a child in a same-sex marriage or partnership, it will greatly benefit you as the non-biological parent to adopt your child. You do not want to battle for custody over your own child, so set this adoption into place as soon as possible.
Step three: Determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you. Before same-sex marriage was legalized in Texas, LGBTQ couples got to choose whatever portion of their assets they wanted to give to their partner. Federal law now requires that one-third or more of your estate be passed on to your spouse. If this does not line up with your wishes, seek assistance from an attorney.
Protecting Your Estate as an LGBTQ Couple
As an LGBTQ individual you and your spouse/partner face different estate planning issues than heterosexual couples do. You should know what protections exist and what disadvantages you must deal with now that same-sex marriage is legal in Texas. This includes untangling how estate planning works for those in domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other arrangements.
It can be difficult to determine how to set up an estate plan as an LGBTQ couple. Hire a determined and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to guide you through this process.
Call us at (281) 810-9760 today or fill out a contact form on our website to get help with your LGBTQ estate plan.