Two Legal Documents Unmarried Same Sex Couples Need
Same sex couples living in states in which same sex marriage is not legal have to take additional steps to ensure that their partners are able to perform certain tasks. One of those is the ability to make medical and financial decisions in the event that one partner is physically and mentally unable to.
If you are in a same sex relationship and you want to ensure your partner has the right to make decisions for you, there are two documents that you need:
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney will allow you to name your partner as a trustee for your financial matters. Whether or not same sex marriage is legal in your state has no bearing on the validity of this document. It is recognized by every state in the United States.
The power of attorney gives your partner the right to make financial decisions for you. It goes into effect when you are unable to make those decisions yourself. It does not solely apply to when you are too ill to make decisions. Your partner could be granted the right to make decisions in other situations such as if you are out of town or otherwise unavailable.
You and your family law attorney can decide exactly what powers your partner can be granted. Some powers you could consider include the ability to:
- File and pay your state and federal taxes
- Claim inheritances such as money and property
- Conduct bank transactions
- Acquire and sell property
There are many other possible powers you can grant your partner including the ability to invest in stocks.
Health Care Directive
In addition to managing your finances, you could legally establish that your partner can also make health care decisions for you. For instance, if you have a terminal illness, your partner could decide what life saving measures should be taken if you have a medical crisis.
You and your partner can decide just how extensive his or her powers are. Powers you could grant your partner through the directive include:
- Selecting medical personnel
- Ability to view medical records
- Making health care decisions that are not specifically covered in your directive
- Filing motions in court to force health care providers to honor your desires
The health care directive is necessary if you want your partner involved in the decision making process when it comes to your health. Without it, he or she could face challenges from family members who want to control your health care.
Your attorney can help you and your partner create legal protections to ensure that both of you have some say in what happens to each other financially and medically. To avoid conflicts later, it is best to take care of these documents now. To learn more, contact a company like Ivy Law Group PLLC with any questions or concerns you might have.