Estate Planning Rights For Same-Sex Couples

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2016 | Firm News

Although same-sex marriage has been legal in Minnesota since 2013, the rights of such couples remained unsettled in many states, where gay marriage was not recognized. For years, gay couples struggled with uncertain laws that required them to jump through legal hoops to ensure their rights and property were protected regardless of where they lived or owned property.

That all changed in June 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states in Obergefell v. Hodges. This means that same-sex couples married in any state have all the same rights and privileges as married heterosexual couples, including estate planning and probate rights.

Estate Planning Documents to Consider

When it comes to estate planning, married LGBT couples have all the same issues and concerns as married heterosexual couples, including caring for children, preserving assets, and planning for retirement. Now that the uncertainty in the law has been removed, same-sex couples are free to safeguard their loved ones and their assets with a comprehensive estate plan.

A Minnesota Will

Although same-sex married spouses have the right to inherit under the state’s intestacy statute in the absence of a will, it’s always best to have at least a basic will in place to ensure your property is distributed according to your wishes. Without a will in place when you die, the court will decide who gets your assets according to the intestacy statute.

Living Will

A living will is a type of advance directive that allows you to appoint a trusted person to make end-of-life health care decisions on your behalf.

Powers of Attorney

A carefully-crafted power of attorney can be a tremendously useful and powerful document. A durable power of attorney allows your agent to make financial decisions on your behalf. A medical power of attorney allows an agent to oversee your health care decisions if you can no longer do so.


There are many different types of trusts that offer a variety of benefits. For example, if you and your spouse have minor children or a special needs child, a trust can ensure your child is cared for both personally and financially.

Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm

Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today our office today to learn more and to discuss your options.

This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.