If you’re LGBTQ and living in California, you will want to know what estate planning options are available to you and your partner. You can plan for health care directives to take place in the event of your untimely death to ensure that your estate and your partner are taken care of as you wish.
Why should you include your partner in estate planning?
There aren’t inheritance laws that include an unmarried partner, which means that the person you love and who you would prefer to receive your assets may not get them at all. Creating an estate plan doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be overly specific. A simple plan allows you to name your partner a guardian for your children and include your partner’s name on health care directives.
What health care directives should you choose?
Your will is important, but you should also have health care directives in place that can give your same-sex partner the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. You should document your wishes with the following health care directives:
- Health care power of attorney: If you are incapacitated due to injury or illness, a health care power of attorney is someone who can make health-related decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them yourself.
- Health care directive: A health care directive gives you the opportunity to decide your end-of-life care, such as resuscitating measures or a do-not-resuscitate order.
- Durable financial power of attorney: A financial power of attorney handles your financial affairs if you are incapacitated.
Professional assistance with estate planning
An attorney may help you if you need to create a will or health care directives to include your partner. An attorney may work to ensure that your wishes are met and your partner is protected if you become incapacitated or pass away.