Every adult should have at least a basic estate plan. For LGBTQ Minnesotans, advance planning can be especially important to help avoid potential family conflicts and confusion, as well as to provide the means to achieve an easy resolution.
For example, consider these benefits of having an estate plan:
Protecting your partner
Having an estate plan can be especially beneficial for your partner. As this article discusses, if you do not have a will or a power of attorney, there could be fights or confusion regarding what rights your partner has when it comes to property distribution or decision-making authority. This is especially true for unmarried couples.
So, even if you do not have significant assets to protect, an estate plan protects the interests and authority of your partner.
Keeping estranged relatives away
Too many people in the LGBTQ community experience strained or severed family relationships.
To ensure these same parties are not in a position to benefit from your passing or to make decisions that would not reflect your intent, an estate plan can explicitly prevent them from taking advantage of such opportunities.
Leaving the legacy you want
Every adult creates a life and a legacy. This could mean fostering a network of non-relative loved ones, contributing to non-profit organizations, and amassing individual wealth. It can take a lifetime to build these monetary and non-monetary assets and relationships, so it is crucial that you protect them when you are gone.
Creating an estate plan can ensure you leave the legacy you want to leave, rather than putting critical decisions in the hands of the court or burdening the people you love with the navigation of an often confusing legal system. By planning ahead, you can take control by making the decisions yourself and detailing your instructions in your estate plan.