The estate planning process can be complicated for every person. It may be especially challenging for individuals who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender. LGBT individuals continue to face discrimination and unequal protection, despite significant advances in the law. Your estate plan must address both the issues that are faced by anyone considering end of life issues, as well as the issues unique to your situation.
Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. can provide invaluable assistance with LGBT estate planning. Regardless of your age, income, wealth, or family situation, we can help you to achieve security for yourself and your family by creating a comprehensive plan for the future. Give us a call today to get personalized advice and to get information on important issues including:
- Why is LGBT estate planning important?
- What is involved in LGBT estate planning?
- How can a Louisville LGBT estate planning lawyer help?
Why is LGBT Estate Planning Important?
Before the legalization of gay marriage, LGBT individuals who were in a committed relationship did not enjoy the protections under the law afforded to other couples. It was not possible to leave money to a partner tax free, as married couples could do. It was also much more difficult to make sure that your property went to your partner, and that your partner was able to make medical decisions for you or even visit you in the hospital when an accident or illness occurred.
Now that gay marriage is the law of the land, you can take advantage of the legal benefits marriage provides – if you decide to do so. This can make estate planning easier. If you opt out of marriage and you have a romantic partner or non-biological children, however, you will still face many of the estate planning issues that gay and lesbian individuals have long struggled with when it comes to inheritances and medical choices. Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. can help with these issues.
Regardless of whether you are married or single, there are also many other issues that need to be addressed which don’t just magically resolve with a wedding certificate. You may have difficulty qualifying for Social Security on a partner or spouse’s record since the length of your marriage does not reflect the actual length of your union; you may have property owned separately outside of marriage; and you may have non-biological children who have not been formally adopted. You can address all of these issues in your estate plan.
Finally, transgender individuals often face difficulties with family members who do not accept their true gender. Your estate plan needs to ensure you are remembered the way you want in your funeral and on your headstone after your death.
What is Involved in LGBT Estate Planning?
Your estate plan will vary depending upon your marital and family situation as well as your personal goals. Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. provides assistance with many of the essential steps of achieving security for yourself and for your family.
Your plan should include provisions to grow and protect assets, address end of life issues, and address the legacy you leave behind after death. The legal tools and documents you may wish to have as part of your plan could include:
- Trusts to protect assets in case you need to go into a nursing home and want Medicaid to pay for it.
- Trusts to avoid estate taxes and to ensure your inheritance is not lost by heirs due to bankruptcy, divorce, or mismanagement.
- A last will to provide details on how property should be transferred after death and to make sure you have named a guardian for minor children. Your will may also include detailed instructions for your funeral, obituary, and headstone so you are remembered as you want to be.
- A plan to grow and protect assets. Your attorney can advise you on IRAs and other tax advantaged retirement accounts as well as on other methods of investing and protecting assets.
- An incapacity plan addressing healthcare issues and management of assets in case of serious illness or injury.
- A legacy plan and an estate plan to provide for people you care about and causes you care about after your death.
These are just some of the many different tools that may be a part of your personalized plan. You need to get the right advice with determining how to protect yourself and your family and with taking the necessary steps to achieve a secure future.
How Can a Louisville LGBT Estate Planning Lawyer Help You?
Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. has extensive experience helping individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender and who want to create a comprehensive estate plan. Give our Louisville LGBT planning lawyers a call today to find out how we can help you.
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