Virginia Beach LGBTQ+ Estate Planning Lawyer
A Commitment to Representing All Families in Virginia Beach
Many everyday people put off or avoid estate planning because they think it is only for the wealthy. But in truth, all families can benefit from establishing a comprehensive estate plan of their own, and most families that don’t create an estate plan wish they had. Those who identify as LGBTQ+, wealthy or not, face additional challenges in estate planning because our imperfect legal system has simply not caught up with less traditional relationships yet. The Law Office of Angela N. Manz in Virginia Beach is committed to providing representation to everyone, including LGBTQ+ families and individuals. We have the experience and expertise needed to deal with specific issues that arise for diverse and less traditional families, and we are dedicated to ensuring everyone has the knowledge and advice necessary to make well-informed decisions tailored to their unique needs. Contact our experienced Virginia Beach LGBTQ+ estate planning lawyers today.
The Importance of Estate Planning for Unmarried LGBTQ+ Partners
Despite the monumental legal strides that led to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriages as a constitutional right in 2015, a significant portion of the LGBTQ+ community remains unmarried. Such families with unmarried partners stand to benefit immensely from a comprehensive estate plan. A well-defined plan ensures there are unequivocal instructions regarding the distribution of each partner’s assets upon their passing, and that a partner is not excluded by Virginia’s intestacy laws. In the absence of these directives, assets could become entangled in Virginia’s probate system, a process that often proves to be both financially and emotionally taxing for the surviving loved ones.
Safeguarding the Rights of LGBTQ+ Parents
In LGBTQ+ families, scenarios where only one partner is the biological parent of a child are not uncommon. A comprehensive estate plan shines in these situations by offering the means to clearly name both partners as guardians of the minor child. Should the child’s biological parent pass away, having both parents listed as guardians removes potential legal complications for the other partner, ensuring the child remains in the care of the surviving parent without hindrance.
Protecting Healthcare and Financial Decision-making
An essential aspect of estate planning, beyond making sure spouses, partners and children are provided for after one’s passing, is planning for a period of incapacity. Estate planning is key to making sure your health care and financial affairs are managed according to your desires should you ever become physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to make or effectively communicate decisions regarding your care. Particularly if you are unmarried but wish for your partner to make decisions on your behalf, having clear guidance and binding legal documents can ensure that the decisions of your representative are respected by doctors, hospitals, banks and other institutions.
Critical estate planning documents to have include:
- Power of Attorney: This document grants a chosen individual the authority to make financial decisions if you become unable to do so. This includes making deposits or withdrawals to your bank account, paying the mortgage and other bills, keeping up insurance premiums, buying or selling property, etc.
- Healthcare Proxy: Similar to a power of attorney, a healthcare proxy designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. This includes accepting or refusing certain types of medical treatment, arranging for your transfer to another facility, having access to your medical records, and speaking with doctors about your condition.
- Living Will: This document sets out medical wishes if one becomes incapacitated with a terminal illness or injury. It can specify treatments to receive or avoid, ensuring your end-of-life choices are respected. Rather than burdening someone with making these decisions for you, as with a healthcare proxy, the living will provides clear directives to medical professionals and others regarding how you wish to be treated in certain circumstances.
Contact The Law Office of Angela N. Manz for Help With Estate Planning for LGBTQ+ Families in Virginia Beach
A comprehensive estate plan serves as a robust tool to accomplish several pivotal objectives during your lifetime and beyond. For LGBTQ+ families, especially those with unique circumstances, a comprehensive estate plan is indispensable. Such planning ensures that all appropriate documentation is in place well ahead of any future events, including both the foreseen and the unexpected.
Our team at The Law Office of Angela N. Manz is adept at tailoring estate plans that speak to your unique needs, ensuring that your family remains safeguarded for years to come. Call our office in Virginia Beach at 757-271-6275 to get started today.