Gay and lesbian couples need to take special care when planning their estates. The law is not always friendly in making sure that your assets go to your partner when you pass away. In some cases, the assets might even go to an estranged family member who is not supportive of your relationship.
Some gay and lesbian couples have attempted to get around the legal blockades with adult adoptions. The wealthier partner will adopt the other partner making the other partner an automatic heir under the laws of intestate succession. However, this is not always a good alternative to a proper estate plan. It does not take into account what might happen if the couple has a falling out and breaks up. Gay, straight, or otherwise, couples break up even after many years together and even in their twilight years.
Instead of automatically relying on an adult adoption to leave money to your partner, talk to an estate planning attorney and consider your alternatives. Maybe an adult adoption is the best choice for you. If it isn’t, however, you should know about your other options. Not only is it the right thing for you, it is also the right thing to do for your partner.
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