Think about it: your partner dies unexpectedly. You are in utter shock. It is by far the worst day of your life. Then things get much worse, unthinkably and cruelly worse.
Until our relationships are legally recognized, same-sex couples are in great peril if they don’t take legal steps to protect one another. Not only is the relationship dishonored – it is as if it never existed at all. So in addition to the pain of grief, there is the threat of financial catastrophe.
The couple in this video is young. It is easy to imagine that the idea of wills and estate planning never entered their minds. I’ve seen couples far older than them put off the writing of wills because no one likes to think of illness and death. Unfortunately, that means that however close you and your partner may feel, in the eyes of the law you are strangers. Strangers!
Loving your partner means getting over your denial and resistance and all the excuses you have for inactivity.
- Recognize that the fight for marriage equality is your fight. The passage of Amendment One in North Carolina emphasizes that we can’t afford complacency. Speak out! Take action!
- If you’re in a committed relationship that is not legally recognized in your state and own a home or share financial commitments you’re your partner, you must have a will if you want your partner protected after you’re gone.
- If you want your partner to be your representative in making decisions about your health in the event that you are incapacitated, you must grant him or her power of attorney for health care.
- In a relationship or single, if you want a say in how your assets are distributed after your death, you need a will. Chances are good that you’ll have accumulated more assets than you might think, resources that could make a difference for a non-profit or charity that you care about. Doing so is a way to make a difference even after you’re gone.
This is so important. The situation in this video is what I’ve always considered the ultimate gay nightmare, the ultimate outrage. It is avoidable! But you must take action. If you’re in the Atlanta area and need the recommendation for an attorney, let me know.