For a long time, LGBT estate planning was extremely complex because couples could not take advantage of the automatic estate planning benefits which go along with marriage. The legalization of gay marriage has changed the estate planning process for lesbian and gay couples who are wed, but it has not removed all of the complexity or made estate planning unnecessary.
Whether you are single, partnered, or married, you may face unique estate planning issues if you are an LGBT person. O’Drobinak & Nowaczyk, P.C. can discuss your goals, help you to identify appropriate legal solutions to achieve them, and assist you in identifying potential problems or pitfalls in your plans to secure your future and provide for your loved ones.
To find out more about the ways we can help, give us a call at 219-865-2285 today to speak with a member of our legal team. You can also talk with an experienced attorney about some of the questions you may have including:
- What is LGBT estate planning?
- Why is LGBT estate planning important?
- How can a Schererville, Indiana LGBT estate planning lawyer help you?
What Is LGBT Estate Planning?
LGBT estate planning involves a process of setting goals for your future, making plans for the achievement of goals, determining what you want your legacy to be, and planning ahead in case of tragedies like incapacity or an untimely death.
Many parts of creating an estate plan are the same for lesbians, gay individuals, bisexual individuals, transgender individuals, heterosexual individuals, and straight individuals. Your gender and sexual preferences don’t impact your ability to make decisions about what kinds of medical care you want if you suffer an emergency situation or about who you want to leave your possessions too.
However, you may have some issues which straight and cisgender people do not experience. For example, if you have had children with your homosexual partner or spouse, generally only one parent can be the biological parent. If you have not arranged a formal adoption and the biological parent passes away, this can create guardianship issues for the surviving parent. You need to make certain you have made plans to protect your children if you have kids in a non-traditional family. Your estate plan can include details on who should serve as guardian and can include provisions providing financially for your kids.
If you have a partner but have not chosen to marry, you may have a host of other issues which need to be addressed in your estate planning process. Your partner may not automatically be allowed to make medical decisions on your behalf, and if you leave substantial assets to your partner, this could trigger costly estate tax. You want to use legal tools like a last will and testament, power of attorney, medical advanced directives, and trusts to ensure your partner will have rights similar to a spouse.
Finally, if you have family members who are not fully supportive of your sexuality or gender identity, you may face a host of other issues. You may be concerned your family will plan a funeral and post an obituary with your birth gender and not your true gender, or you may be worried your family will try to contest a will that leaves money to your same-sex partner. Whenever you have issues related to your biological family’s potential interference with your wishes, you need to find out what estate planning tools can be used to ensure your plans are carried through.
Why Is LGBT Estate Planning Important?
LGBT estate planning matters for many of the same reasons estate planning matters for anyone and everyone, regardless of your gender or sexual identity. You deserve to control what kinds of medical care you receive. You deserve to choose who makes decisions for you and manages your assets in case of incapacity. You deserve to choose how to be remembered, what your legacy will be, and who should inherit your possessions.
Estate planning gives you the tools to take control of these end of life matters and to control what occurs after your death. If your LGBT status makes estate planning harder because of non-biological children, an unsupportive family, an unmarried partner, or any other issues unique to you, your attorney can also help you to address those issues head-on.
How Can A Schererville, Indiana LGBT Estate Planning Lawyer Help You?
O’Drobinak & Nowaczyk, P.C. has extensive experience with LGBT estate planning. Our legal team knows how to make Indiana’s legal tools work for you and we can provide you with the guidance you need to make a solid plan for a secure future. To find out more about how a Schererville, Indiana LGBT estate planning lawyer can help you, give us a call at 219-865-2285 or contact us online.