Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples in Nebraska

Part II

Healthcare directives set forth an individual’s desires during times of serious illness, such as discontinuing healthcare treatment under certain circumstances.[1] Executing a healthcare directive will help ensure that a partner is permitted to make healthcare decisions for the partner and guarantee that each of their previously set wishes will be honored.[2] Elderlaw Associates of Omaha prefers Five Wishes, which a healthcare directive template provided by the Aging with Dignity non-profit organization.[3] Five Wishes assists in starting and structuring important conversations about care in times of serious illness.[4] Furthermore, Five Wishes is written in everyday language as well as, 27 different languages.[5]
Durable Financial & Medical Powers of Attorney can be drafted to name a same-sex couples’ partner in the event one is unable or unwilling to take care of their financial or medical affairs.[6] A properly drafted durable financial power of attorney can authorize a domestic partner to access bank accounts to pay bills, mortgage payments, and other financial affairs.  A properly executed durable healthcare power of attorney can authorize a domestic partner to make medical decisions such as consent to surgery, authorize transportation to another healthcare facility, and access medical records.
It is especially important that same-sex couples in Nebraska plan for their loved ones with Wills, Healthcare Directives, and Financial & Medical Powers of Attorney since they are not given marital privileges. These Estate Planning tools will ensure that partners are named as each other’s beneficiaries and decision makers in the events of death or illness. This post is regarding Nebraska. Each state differs greatly regarding these areas so a local attorney should be consulted for each couples’ unique situation.


[1] Anthony M. Brown, Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples: Practicalities, Precautions, Perils, and Proposals, 12 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 217 (2010)
[2] Id.
[3] http://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id.

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