It’s been a great year for gay couples and their families. Sweeping changes are finally happening in America. Gay marriages are legal in most states in the USA. Whether you are in favor of this or not, it certainly does make it easier for same sex couples who are planning their estates. When your life partner is your legal next of kin you enjoy certain safeguards, but when you are engaged in a gay partnership in most parts of the country you don’t have these rights. Therefore, you must take specific steps when you are planning for the latter stages of your life if you want your partner to be legally empowered.
When you are creating a comprehensive plan that is intended to address all of the eventualities of aging, you must consider the possibility of incapacity. People are living into their mid to late eighties and beyond quite routinely these days, and though life is precious there are some challenges that can go along with living to an advanced age.
Medical science has advanced capabilities that can prolong the lives of people who are incapacitated, but not everyone shares the same opinion about how they would like to proceed under these circumstances. If you were legally married, your husband or wife would be empowered to act on your behalf, but if you are not legally married you have to be proactive. One course of action would be to execute a Durable Power of Attorney for health care. With this document you empower an attorney-in-fact to act in your behalf should you become unable to communicate decisions on your own.
You may also want to execute a Living Will stating your medical preferences regarding the use of artificial life support. In this manner your own choices will hold sway and the entirety of your family will be aware of your wishes.
Please let us know how we can help you navigate these new laws. For a consultation, please contact us at 513.721.1513.