Same Sex Family Legal Services

Same Sex Marriage is relatively new to U. S. states so same sex legalities seem to be ever-changing. In California, same sex marriage is legal, so as you prepare for your perfect day, there are things you and your future spouse can do to plan for the best life together.

CHANGING YOUR NAME

You may have discussed about whether one or both of you will change your names after the wedding. Remember that you will need to provide name change information for both formal and informal contacts. Many banks and government organizations require a certified copy of your marriage license before making changes. You can make copies of the marriage license for most name changes (for example, frequent flier miles memberships, etc.) You may also want to send a wedding announcement so that acquaintances are aware of your new name(s).

PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Yikes, prenuptial agreements don’t sound very romantic! But in reality, marriage has a business component many people don’t consider when planning a wedding. Most people don’t know that from the date of your marriage, your earnings are equally the property of your spouse and any debts you incur are also the responsibility of your spouse. As a result, couples with a large disparity of income and assets may wish to consider a pre-nuptial agreement. Many pre-nuptial agreements include an expiration date (eg. After ten years, the prenup is void) which protects both spouses.

ESTATE PLANNING

A thoughtful estate plan is important for all families – not just families with a lot of money. None of us like to think about the inevitable, but estate planning will save a lot of money and stress in the long term. Advance health care directive, revocable living trust, and durable power of attorney are three documents that cost very little to set up but save a great deal of money and time if your family suffers a health or other crisis.

Also, remember to update your beneficiary information to include your new spouse on all bank accounts, retirement plans, 401K and life insurance policies.

EXPECTING CHILDREN

If you are planning on starting a family, the good news is that you have many options available to you: adoption agencies, surrogates, and egg and sperm donors, to name a few. However you plan to proceed, make sure that expectations and details are clearly documented. Be wary of adoption agencies making too may promises or any individual or organization not willing to execute a detailed and binding contract.

While these topics are not the stuff of fairy tales, planning ahead, having meaningful conversations and thinking about the realities of a future together, will ensure you and your spouse live happily ever after.

We would love to discuss any and all of the above topics with you. Call us for a consultation at 310-481-0300.