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Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodgesthat a state’s ban of same sex marriage is unconstitutional, stating in its opinion that the “right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.” As a result of this decision, the federal government and all states must recognize same-sex marriages and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

For all married same sex couples, if you have not already done so now is the time to think about your estate planning. Even if you are newly married with a modest estate, you should consider having a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney allows you to designate agents to make medical or finance related decisions for you should you become incapacitated. A Power of Attorney for health care also allows you to specify your end of life wishes.
In California, if you have assets worth more than $150,000, a Revocable Trust is key in avoiding probate after the passing of either spouse. Once your Revocable Trust is established you must fund your Trust with your real property, bank accounts, stock accounts, and/or businesses. In addition, if you are a same sex couple with minor children, a Will allows you to designate guardians for your children.
Here at Chauvel & Glatt, we will prepare an estate plan to ensure that your assets are protected. To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.

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