LGBTQ+ Life and Estate Planning

Life and estate planning is recommended for every family and every individual, no matter their sex, gender, or sexual orientation, the size of the estate, or whether they have children. However, life and estate planning is more strongly recommended for LGBTQ+ families, even post-marriage equality.  A thorough life and estate plan can protect against changes in law and challenges to your wishes.  It is peace of mind, no matter what horrible news story about LGBTQ+ rights is being reported that day.

The Law Center attorneys have decades of combined experience protecting LGBTQ+ families and individuals through the use of life and estate planning documents and contracts. Through the years, our firm has developed LGBTQ+-specific versions of these documents, and we continue to recommend them even post-marriage and parentage equality. Marriage equality has not cured all. Redundancy, different layers of protection, and safety nets are key.

We are proud of the comprehensive, LGBTQ+-specific documents we have developed over the years.  Properly drafted documents will help protect you and your family no matter if the law changes or if you find yourself in a discriminatory jurisdiction or court. Life and estate planning documents can also help protect the relationship between a non-biological parent and their child, until a parentage or adoption order is obtained, and after such a court order is entered, they reinforce the legal relationship between the non-biological parent and the child.

There are also marriage-based tax planning devices available to LGBTQ+ families after the marriage equality cases of 2014 and 2015. Our firm helps families navigate these new benefits of marriage within their estate plan.

Life planning documents address illness and incapacitation. Estate planning documents address death and assets. All of these documents protect you, your partner or spouse, your children, and your family as a unit. If you fail to make these decisions, the legal system will make them for you. A typical life and estate plan for our families includes: a Will, a Minor Support Trust, various deeds, beneficiary designation forms, a Nomination of Guardian for Minor Child, a Parental Power of Attorney, Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Finances, a Living Will, health care facility visitation authorizations, HIPAA releases, and if necessary, a Revocable Living Trust.