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LGBT Estate Planning Guidance

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General Information

We offer guidance and assistance to members of the LGBT Community on their unique estate planning needs. This includes assistance in setting up Living Trusts and Health Care Directives.

Our firm has a long history of helping LGBT individuals to overcome shortcomings in the law in order to protect their future. While there have been significant advances in anti-discrimination legislation and gay couples can now choose to marry, issues still remain in incapacity planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. Our firm can help you deal with those issues and make the best use of legal tools to protect your future.

For gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender individuals, estate planning and retirement planning can be complicated by inadequate recognition under the law, as well as by more complex family situations.

You may have a partner who you were not able to marry for a long time, which could mean you own substantial separate property or are not able to qualify for Social Security on each other’s work records. You may have non-biological children who you have raised but not adopted. You may also have a family who is not fully supportive of your sexuality or of your gender identity.

These are just some of the issues that need to be addressed in the creation of an estate plan. Of course, you want control over what happens in case you become incapacitated or when you pass away. You also want a secure retirement and to provide for your children and loved ones in the future.

Estate planning helps you to do all of these things while taking into account the unique issues you currently face due to sexual identity inequality.

Your estate plan should include the use of many different kinds of legal tools that protect you and protect your loved ones. The specifics of your plan should be customized to meet your needs.

Instructions For Guardianship of Children

This can be especially important if children are being raised with a partner who has not formally adopted them. Custody issues can arise when a parent passes away in these situations and you want to make your wishes very clear.

Advanced Instructions For Your Funeral and Memorial

There have been many tragic cases where unsupportive family members have not posthumously recognized the wishes of the deceased.  In some cases, the family disregarded the true gender identity of a transgender person who had passed away. If you want to ensure you are remembered with your true gender, rather than your birth gender, you may wish to make plans in advance for your funeral and memorial.

An Incapacity Plan

You want to make sure the person of your choosing manages your assets and make medical decisions for you. This can be especially important if you are not married to your partner.

An Estate Plan

You want to control who inherits your property. While you can use a will, sometimes a will is contested by unsupportive family members who may not recognize your relationship with a loving partner. You need to ensure you use the right legal tools to facilitate the seamless transfer of assets, which may include trusts and joint accounts that transfer assets outside of probate.

In Conclusion

These are just some of the many issues LGBT people need to address in their estate planning. While the legalization of gay marriage has made it easier to provide for your partner after you are gone and to get protections at the end of your life, you still need to address many important issues to achieve a secure future.

Our firm helps married, coupled, and single LGBT individuals. We will carefully discuss your family and financial situation and your concerns about the future, and we will provide you with the comprehensive legal tools that you need to protect yourself and your loved ones no matter what life brings.

Check out our Estate Planning Guide for more information.

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