Most people will reach a point in life where they are no longer able to manage their own financial affairs and make their own health care decisions. By law, your spouse can often step in and make those decisions. But, for members of the LGBTQ community that is not an option everywhere. Instead LGBTQ need to have legal documentation if they want their partners to take care of things.
A General Durable Power of Attorney is the appropriate document to state who you want to manage your financial affairs when you are no longer capable of doing so. You don’t have to name your partner. You can name anyone you want. If you do want your partner to handle things, then you should know that your partner does not have a legal right to do so unless you have a General Durable Power of Attorney granting him or her that authority.
The same thing is true with health care decisions. If you want your partner to make the decisions, then you need a Health Care Power of Attorney. Legally, doctors cannot even talk to your partner about your health without the document or a court order.
While everyone should have both documents drawn up, it’s an absolute necessity for LGBTQ partners.
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