Nearly everyone in Texas, at some point in their lives, will have to think about planning their estate and getting it ready for their eventual death. While this is an often awkward process for many people, it’s a necessary part of getting older and makes those difficult end-of-life decisions easier for your family members to make down the road.
But while this may be easy enough for most families across Texas, this process can create problems for less traditional families, including those in the gay and lesbian community. Because Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage as being legal, some people may not be listed as beneficiaries in a will. Same-sex couples can also run into problems with powers of attorney and those listed as the next in line to make health care decisions as well.
These and other issues were brought up recently at a Dallas church during a seminar presented by Equality Texas. The organization touched on the often difficult situations that same-sex couples in the state face when it comes to estate planning and offered advice to those who have found themselves struggling to make their plans adhere to state laws.
While naming a beneficiary in a will and allocating a health care proxy are among the top two issues facing same-sex couples in the state, they may also encounter problems with spousal inheritance and even potential issues with estate taxes as well. For those Texas residents who missed the seminar, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney in their area can be done at any time. Lawyers in this field can often help you work through this difficult challenges and help you adhere to state laws as well.
Source:Dallasvoice.com, “Local Briefs: 10-04-13,” Oct. 4, 2013