Obergefell v. Hodges was a landmark case that provided equality in marriage to LGBT individuals. The fact that gay and lesbian couples can now marry has made the estate planning process easier than ever for many couples who have chosen to wed.
However, not every couple opts to get married, and even those who do may face estate planning issues unique to their LGBTQ status. It’s important for LGBT individuals to have help with the estate planning process from an attorney they can trust.
Kuhn & Kuhn is here to help. Our legal team can provide the personalized assistance that you need to make a plan to protect your future and your loved ones, no matter your gender or sexuality. Give us a call today to find out more about the assistance we can provide to LGBT individuals with the creation of an estate plan and to get answers to questions you may have including:
- What are some challenges that LGBT individuals may face in creating an estate plan?
- What are some legal tools you can use to make an estate plan?
- How can a Charleston LGBT estate planning lawyer help?
What are some Challenges LGBT Individuals Face in Creating an Estate Plan?
LGBT individuals who have a partner who they wish to provide for and who are not married to that partner will need to take steps to ensure that assets can transfer to a desired heir. This can mean making certain that assets can transfer without their value being reduced due to estate tax if you have a larger estate. There are a host of issues that must be addressed if you have a partner you are not married to, including steps you need to take to make sure your partner is able to visit you in the hospital and make medical decisions on your behalf if something happens to you.
Depending upon your family situation, there may also be many other estate planning issues that need to be addressed. For example, you may have children who you are raising with a partner that only belong biologically to one of the partners. You will need to work with an estate planning lawyer to ensure that the other partner is able to be the guardian of the children if something happens such as incapacity or death of one of the parents.
If you have family members who do not recognize your true gender or who do not support your relationship with your partner, there are other issues to address as well. For example, if you are transgender and you pass away, your family may try to memorialize you by your birth gender instead of your true gender. Your family may also try to contest a will if you have left assets to a partner of whom they do not approve. There are tools you can use to protect yourself from these problems, but you need to work with an experienced attorney to address the issues that may arise by using appropriate legal tools.
What are Some Legal Tools You Can Use to Make an Estate Plan?
The tools you need to use to make an estate plan will depend upon the issues that you expect to arise if you get sick or pass away. For example, if you are worried about your family members contesting your will, you can consider making a trust that is more difficult to contest or you can consider transferring assets through pay on death accounts and joint ownership.
If you need to avoid estate tax, there are options throughout your life that you can consider, such as making gifts and creating specific types of trusts to facilitate the transfer of assets. If you are worried about the care of children, you can ensure you have named your partner as a guardian. If you are concerned about being remembered with the wrong gender, you can provide detailed instructions and pre-plan your funeral.
Kuhn & Kuhn can help with the steps that you need to take that make sense for your situation. We understand that LGBTQ individuals often face unique challenges in making their estate plan and we help you to overcome these challenges and make the law work for you.
How Can a Charleston LGBT Estate Planning Lawyer Help?
To find out more about the estate planning process and to get help making an estate plan that addresses your unique concerns, contact a Charleston LGBT estate planning lawyer at Kuhn & Kuhn today. You can give us a call at 843-577-3700 or contact us online to get personalized help today.