Parman & Easterday provides advice and assistance to everyone in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas who requires help with estate planning. As part of our efforts to help everyone, young and old, to address their legacy and to plan for their future, we also focus on providing assistance to people who may have more complex estate planning issues. This includes LGBTQ individuals.
LGBTQ rights have expanded greatly in recent years and continue to expand. Still, despite progress in the field of civil rights for LGBTQ individuals, there remain unique issues faced by lesbians, gay men, and people who are transgender. We can help to ensure that you use all available legal tools to get the protections you and your family need, regardless of your sexuality or your gender identity. Give us a call today to get personalized estate planning advice and to get answers to questions including:
- What is involved in LGBTQ estate planning?
- Who should consider getting help with LGBTQ estate planning?
What is Involved in LGBTQ Estate Planning?
The process of LGBTQ estate planning is similar in many ways to estate planning for everyone who has assets they value or family members they care about. Your plan should ensure that you have control over who manages your property if you get sick, or over what kinds of medical care are desired in case of a serious medical emergency. Your plan should also take steps to protect your assets, to reduce or avoid estate taxes, and to ensure that the people who you love can inherit the property and assets that you have worked for your whole life to provide.
While your estate plan may not differ much from anyone else concerned about their future and their family’s future, there are some unique issues which may arise due to your sexuality or your gender identity.
For example, many transgender people who have parents or siblings who are not supportive of their transition may be concerned about whether their family will remember them appropriately in a funeral mass or in a memorial after their death. You never want your birth gender or name used on your final resting place rather than your true name or identity, but this has happened to some transgender individuals who have passed away unexpectedly. With help from an experienced attorney, you can make certain this does not happen to you.
LGBTQ individuals may also be concerned about retirement planning if a delay in marriage equality has resulted in not being able to qualify right away for a spouse’s Social Security or pension benefits. Your ability to receive benefits under a spouse’s work record can be affected by the length of your marriage – and if your marriage was not always recognized, you could face disadvantages that leave you in a bad financial position if your spouse passes away early.
There may also be issues related to separately owned property before marriage or related to the care of non-biological children when no formal adoption has taken place. There are even circumstances where non-supportive families have contested a will when property was left to partners. Whether these are your concerns or you have other worries about your future, your estate plan can address your worries and give you peace of mind.
Who Should Consider Getting Help with LGBTQ Estate Planning?
If you are a lesbian, gay man, bisexual individual, or transgender individual, you need to make sure you get help from an LGBTQ estate planning lawyer who understands the unique issues you face. While many people assume gay marriage has put an end to the special estate planning difficulties of LGBTQ individuals, this is not necessarily the case. You can now enjoy many more benefits and automatic protections for your partner if you choose to marry, but it is still up to you to know where the law falls short so you can take care of yourself. We can help.
Give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 in Oklahoma City to find out about getting personalized advice on the estate planning process. You can also contact us online so we can begin today with making the available legal tools work to protect you and your loved ones.