Estate planning is critical for everyone, but may be even more important for individuals who are homosexual, bisexual, or transgender. While the Supreme Court’s nationwide legalization of gay marriage has made life – and planning for death – easier for LGTB couples, there are still many issues that LGBT individuals face that need to be addressed when planning for the future.
The Law Offices of Cheryl David is uniquely qualified to provide LGBT estate planning assistance to homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals. We help not only people who want to plan for what happens at the end of their life, but also young families who want to make sure they use legal tools available to them to protect their interests.
We’ve been assisting homosexual couples and LGBT individuals for a long time and we’ve kept up-to-date with how changes in the law affect you. We’re here to help clients in Greensboro, all of Guilford County, and in surrounding regions in North Carolina. We offer you a personalized plan and can answer all of your questions including:
- Why is LGBT estate planning so essential for individuals and couples?
- What should be part of my estate plan or plan for the future?
- How can a Greensboro, NC LGBT estate planning lawyer help me?
Why is LGBT Estate Planning so Essential?
The law has advanced a long way in the protection of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. With the ability to legally marry, you can now opt to take advantage of many of the automatic protections that marriage brings, including the right to transfer money tax-free to your spouse upon your death.
However, the nationwide recognition of gay marriage has not solved all estate planning issues that LGBT individuals have. You may have concerns unique to your situation, such as worries about whether your family members will recognize your true gender identity in your funeral and memorial when you pass away or concerns about what will happen to non-biological children if the biological parent becomes incapacitated and unable to care for them.
You need to have these and other concerns addressed and creating an estate plan is the best way to do that. As long as the law does not provide full equality in all situations, and as long as discrimination remains within society, you need an estate plan that will provide you and those you love with the maximum protections available.
What Should be Included in an Estate Plan?
Your estate plan should be personalized to your own situation. Your concerns about incapacity, guardianship of your children, disposition of property, and other relevant matters should be discussed with your estate planning attorney. Your lawyer can also help you to consider what types of issues need to be addressed to ensure that you are able to control your own future, even in the event of incapacity or death.
With the help of an attorney, you can identify different things that need to be included in your estate plan including:
- Details in a last will and testament about what name you would like on your headstone, what your funeral arrangements should be, and how you want your obituary and other memorials written. This can be especially important for transgender individuals whose family members may not be fully accepting of their true gender identity. You can also create an advanced funeral plan so you do not leave this issue in the hands of family members.
- Provisions for who should manage your assets in the event of incapacity. You can use a power of attorney or a living trust to ensure your assets are managed.
- Provisions for the care of minor children. This is especially important if you have children which are not biologically related to both partners.
- Plans for the transfer of assets. You can use wills, trusts and joint ownership to ensure assets transfer to those who you wish to receive them. This can be especially important if you have property which is not jointly owned and/or if you are not legally married to your partner.
These are just some of the many different things which may need to be a part of your estate plan. Your plan needs to be tailored to your situation, and attorney can make that happen.
How Can a Greensboro LGBT Estate Planing Lawyer help?
At the Law Offices of Cheryl David, we work hard to help homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals ensure that the law is working for them, even when the system hasn’t always been in your favor in North Carolina. There are many legal tools available to protect you and your family and we’ll make sure the right approach is taken with the creation of your comprehensive plan. Take the necessary step today to protect yourself and those you love. If you live in Guilford County or surrounding areas, we can help. Give us a call at (336) 547-9999 or contact us online to learn more.