Why estate planning is so important for LGBT+ people in Ohio

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2020 | Uncategorized

No one, other than possibly legal professionals and accountants, actually gets excited about estate planning. Many people put it off because it is an unpleasant task to consider their own death and the impact that it will have on the people they love.

Unfortunately, those who delay the creation of an estate plan could wind up dying without one on record. No one knows how long they have, and an accident or a sudden medical event could claim your life with little notice.

A death without a last will is an unpleasant situation even for the most standard of families, but for LBGT+ people and their loved ones, dying without a last will can be a huge complication. 

The people related to you might inherit everything without consideration of your loved one

Ohio has specific rules about intestate succession, which is the process that occurs with your property if you die without a last will. Specifically, your children and your spouse often have primary inheritance rights.

If you don’t have any biological or adopted children, in theory your spouse gets everything. What if you aren’t married to your partner? What if you’re in a polyamorous relationship with multiple partners, each of whom you’d like to provide for when you die?

Unfortunately, under current Ohio law, the people you love who aren’t actually your spouse have no right to inherit unless you make an estate plan. Instead, your parents, who may have been bigots that kicked you out of the house or disinherited you when you came out to them, could potentially inherit everything you’ve ever earned, saved or acquired in your life. They could take your house and your bank account and leave the people you love with nothing unless you create an estate plan.

Special circumstances require special consideration

The more unique your family circumstances, the more valuable a comprehensive estate plan becomes. Getting help from someone who knows not just Ohio probate law but also the unique legal concerns of the LGBT+ community can prove invaluable. You can give yourself peace of mind and give the people you care about the most protection in case something tragic occurs.