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Same-Sex Couples May Still Have Special Estate Planning Needs, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the U.S., many older same-sex couples still face challenges and need special estate planning.

The decision by the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. has given many older couples the ability to legalize their relationships for the first time. By doing so they get all the estate planning benefits that married heterosexual couples have always enjoyed.

They have a right to a share of their spouses’ estates even in the absence of a will. They are also allowed greater input in their spouses’ medical care even without a health care power of attorney.

However, as the Columbus Dispatch explains in “Older same-sex couples face specific challenges” same-sex couples still face discrimination in other areas.

In many parts of the country discrimination in housing and employment is still not illegal against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Having a same-sex marriage announced in a newspaper could cause some people to be fired or evicted from their homes. Others fear social stigma and would prefer that their sexual orientation not be made public.

This leads to some older same-sex couples not getting married and thus not getting the estate planning benefits of being married.

Fortunately, same-sex couples who fear discrimination have other options besides marriage.

Traditional estate planning methods of ensuring a loved one is taken care of after a partner passes away are still available. Powers of attorney can be drafted to give a long-time partner control over financial and health care decisions as well.

In fact, all couples, both same-sex and heterosexual, should have estate plans prepared if they want to best protect their loved ones.

Reference: Columbus Dispatch (March 13, 2016) “Older same-sex couples face specific challenges

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce