Helping Protect Nontraditional / LGBTQ Families
Arizona law does not recognize common law marriage or domestic partnership. Therefore, if you are living as a couple but not legally married to your partner, you may be denied the rights and protections that “traditional” couples take for granted, such as the right to inherit your partner’s assets or guardianship of a child in your joint care.
At Kruchek Law, PLLC, we use traditional estate planning techniques in order to provide your partner and your family the protection afforded to traditional couples.
Powers Of Attorney/Living Wills
Nontraditional relationships face extra risks when one partner becomes sick or incapacitated. The law tends to favor a spouse or a blood relative over that of a domestic partner. Therefore, a partner could lose the ability to visit with a dying partner or have any input into their care. By establishing a power of attorney and a living will, you can set forth you own wishes as to what care you wish to receive and designate your partner as the decision-maker who will carry out your wishes.
If you die without a will or trust, most states follow the law of intestacy, which is a pre-established set of rules on how to distribute your assets. Although these rules may work well for the traditional nuclear family, complications can arise if you and your family do not fall under this label. Under these rules, your nonmarried surviving partner may be completely shut out from receiving anything from your estate upon your death. By setting up a last will and testament or establishing a living trust, you can bypass these intestacy rules and ensure your partner will receive a share of your estate.
Guardianship For Minor Children
If you have children, one of the more difficult decisions is who will care for them if something were to happen to you. The decision can be complicated if you are in a “nontraditional” relationship and there is a minor child living in your joint care, especially if the child is not a blood relation of or nor legally adopted by your partner. Without a guardianship plan, any such child may be removed and placed in the care of a family relation rather than remain with your partner. In this situation, it is critical to set up a guardianship to designate your partner as the caretaker of any minor children who are in your joint care.
See How We Can Help Your Family Today
Nontraditional families need nontraditional solutions for their estate planning needs. Attorney Beth Krucheck can help you ensure that your legacy is protected in case of “what if.”