Do you identify as a lesbian, a gay individual, a bisexual individual or a transgender individual? Have you thought about how your gender and sexuality will affect you or those you love in case of incapacity or death? Unfortunately, because homosexual marriage was long prohibited in many states and because continued discrimination exists against LGBT individuals, estate planning has always been a complicated matter for those in the LGBT community. While things have improved, there are still challenges and problems to face.
DeBruyckere Law Offices has been providing representation to LGBT individuals for a lot longer than gay marriage has been legal throughout the United States. We understand the complex issues that affect LGBT couples and individuals both in the past and today. We provide personalized services to all LGBT individuals whether you are married or single and whether you want a comprehensive and detailed estate plan or the simplest plan possible to address only a few essential issues. No matter your situation, our attorneys can help you with your estate plan and can answer questions including:
- Why is LGBT estate planning important?
- What is involved in LGBT estate planning?
- How can Beverly MA estate planning lawyer help?
Why is LGBT estate planning important?
LGBT estate planning is important for many important reasons, although it became easier when the Supreme Court legalized homosexual marriage. Before gay marriage became legal nationwide, gay or lesbian couples needed an estate plan to provide protections for the person they were sharing a life with. The plan needed to provide instructions on things like who would inherit money and who would make decisions in the event of grave illness. Now, getting married can create a shortcut that allows you to default into the legal protections available for husbands and/or wives. However, not everyone chooses to get married, and acceptance of gay marriage is only a small part of the long battle for full equality.
Discrimination still occurs and the law does not always provide perfect protection for LGBT individuals who remain a small minority. As a result, estate planning can still remain a challenge. The steps you’ll need to take differ depending upon your personal situation.
For example, if you are transgender and not 100 percent confident of your family’s full support, your estate plan needs to be designed to ensure you are buried under the name you have chosen to correspond with your true gender. You’ll also want to ensure you are buried in the clothing and with the makeup and accessories you believe are appropriate for your chosen gender.
An LGBT estate planning lawyer can help couples and individuals who identify as lesbians, gays, bisexual individuals or transgender individuals. DeBruyckere Law Offices attorneys have decades of collective experience helping you to leave behind a strong legacy and a family that is cared for.
What is Involved in LGBT estate planning?
The steps you will need to take when creating an LGBT estate plan vary depending upon many different factors including your marital status, your gender identity, your current and future expected financial situation, whether you have children, and whether your property acquired during the marriage is jointly owned or not. If you are an LGBT parent, you will also need to consider whether a formal adoption has taken place if the child being raised by you and your partner is not biologically your own.
Some of the different legal tools you may wish to use and steps you may need to take include:
- Creating a last will and testament to provide detailed instructions for your funeral.
- Creating a trust to allow for the management of assets in case of incapacity and to facilitate the transfer of assets outside of probate.
- Determining who will have guardianship of your children if you cannot care for them, and providing for your children’s financial support.
- Establishing an incapacity plan to ensure it is clear who will make personal, financial, and medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.
DeBruyckere Law Offices helps clients to take these and other steps necessary to ensure that their families are secure and their legacy is protected.
How can a Beverly Estate Planning Lawyer Help
DeBruyckere Law Offices understands the unique issues facing the LGBT community during the estate planning process. Our experienced legal team has helped many lesbians, gay individuals, bisexual individuals and transgender individuals in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We care deeply about making sure your finances, future and family are protected and we will offer you the personalized advice that you deserve through the creation of a comprehensive estate plan. Give us a call today at our New Hampshire number, (603) 894-4141 or at our Massachusetts number, (978) 969-0331.