June is Pride month and the perfect time to celebrate the love between two people. Pride month recognizes the years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice. While same-sex marriage is legal in Illinois, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all couples in a same-sex relationship are married. Having an estate plan is important to these couples because many rights given to a spouse are not provided to a long-term relationship partner.
According to the US Census Bureau, there are roughly 1.2 million same-sex couple households in the United States in 2021. But that does not mean that all of the couples are married. And without marriage, these couples do not have the same legal rights to their partner’s assets. This is why an estate plan is especially important.
If you are just getting started writing an estate plan, there are 3 main documents to consider:
In the state of Illinois, when a person dies without a will or trust (dies intestate), the assets are transferred to the spouse. But if you are in a long-term relationship and not married, none of your partner’s assets will automatically transfer to you. Without a will or trust, all assets, even the home you are both living in, can be transferred to their immediate relative.
A Power of Attorney allows a designated person to handle affairs in a specific area, such as finances. So if you or your partner are incapacitated, you can still take care of the bills and any financial situations.
If you are hurt and do not have a healthcare directive, your partner will not be able to make any medical decisions on your behalf. In fact, they may not be given access to your healthcare charts and information.
As you can see, having an estate plan for you and your long-term partner is vitally important. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you start setting up an estate plan for you and your loved one.
At the Estate and Probate Legal Group, we understand your unique situation. We can help LGTBQ+ couples and estate planning with all the necessary arrangements. Contact Us today to talk about setting up or reviewing your estate plan. Call us at 630-864-5835.
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties