Obergefell v. Hodges was a landmark decision that finally guaranteed nationwide marriage equality. However, it was not the only important case on the rights of homosexual couples to come before the Supreme Court. Obergefell v. Hodges actually came after a 2013 case called United States v. Windsor, which was a case originating out of an estate planning question.
The fact that the battle for gay marriage has included estate planning cases shows just how much of an impact your sexuality can have on your estate planning process. While Obergefell v. Hodges has made it easier for homosexual couples to take some of the same estate planning shortcuts as straight couples, the nationwide recognition of gay marriage does not eliminate the complexity of the estate planning process. It also provides no relief to transgender individuals and to LGBTQ individuals who aren’t part of a marital union.
Estate planning is always complicated, and non-traditional sexuality or gender roles can make the process of making an estate plan and securing your legacy even more difficult. Kinghorn Heritage Law Group, PLC wants to make the process easy.
Our Tucson LGBTQ estate planning lawyers know how to make the law work for you and will help with the creation of a comprehensive plan that protects you and those who you love, regardless of their sex or gender status. Give us a call at (520) 529-4000 to speak with an experienced attorney for personalized advice and to get answers to questions about LGBTQ estate planning including:
- Why is LGBTQ estate planning needed?
- What should be a part of an LGBTQ estate plan?
- How can a Tucson LGBTQ estate planning lawyer help?
Why is LGBTQ Estate Planning Needed?
Whether you are married or single, you need an estate plan to protect your future and your family. Your plan, like any plan of any person regardless of gender or sexuality, should address end-of-life issues; care of minor children after the death of the parents; retirement planning and asset protection; and legacy planning.
For LGBTQ individuals, however, your planning process may become more complicated both because of a history of laws that failed to recognize gay rights as well as because of continued discrimination.
Situations where estate plan is most pressing include circumstances where any close family members are not supportive of your sexuality or gender identity. If you have unsupportive family members, issues could arise where a will is contested when you leave money to your partner or where your family members try to memorialize you with your birth gender instead of your true gender if you are transgender. You must make certain that you have worked with an estate plan lawyer to take control over what will happen to your assets and how you will be remembered.
Whether you are married or single, you may also have additional issues to consider as well. For example, if you are raising children with a partner and the children have not been formally adopted, then the nonbiological parent could be at risk of losing custody if the biological parent passes away. You need to make certain that appropriate plans for the guardianship of the child are made so this does not happen.
What Should be part of an LGBTQ Estate Plan?
Your estate plan should be comprehensive enough to address the issues that can arise at the end of your life and after your death. Your plan may also include things you would not necessarily think of. For example, elder law and estate planning attorneys can help you with retirement planning, which may be important if you don’t yet qualify for Social Security on your spouse’s work record because your marriage was only recently recognized by the federal government.
An experienced attorney can assist you in identifying all of the different goals you should try to accomplish during your estate planning process and can help you to identify the right legal tools to use. This could include trusts; a last will and testament; a guardianship plan for your children; pre-planning your funeral; creating a power of attorney; and more.
How can a Tucson LGBTQ Estate Planning Lawyer Help?
Kinghorn Heritage Law Group, PLC can provide comprehensive assistance with LGBTQ estate planning. Our legal team helps people who are single and people who are married to make the plans they need to achieve security and peace of mind. With our assistance, you can take full advantage of legal tools that protect your future. Give us a call at (520) 529-4000 or contact us online to find out more.