Although no more special than heterosexual families, the same sex or ‘Rainbow’ family has its own intrinsic features and therefore need to be accounted for in their individual Wills and estate planning.
While there is literature both for and against same sex couples raising children, the fact of the matter is that couples in same sex relationships and marriages can legally adopt and foster children in Australia. Therefore, same sex couples with dependent children need to make the proper arrangements so they are looked after should anything happen to the couple.
When it comes to young or infant children in a same-sex relationship it is important to have a number of features of the testamentary Guardian Will clause in place:
- You may give special thought as to the Guardian representing your interests even when your partner survives;
- You may give special care to other persons who may well have access to your child or children, these may well be grandparents, family members or even the sperm donor or birth mother; and
- You will particularly give thought to an agreement with your partner as to the possibility of a Wills Contract to provide for your child/children’s interests in the event that you predecease your partner;
- Ensure that the rights of any surrogate are protected.
A decision may well need to be made as to a quality other gender figure in your child’s life who will model good male or female attributes. This is a personal decision for the couple. Do you need to make any specific directions as to day to day requirements, and do you require life insurance to cover the expenses of the guardian.