LGBT estate planning has become easier for gay and lesbian couples who choose to marry and who can finally take advantage of all the legal protections afforded to married couples. This does not mean estate planning is easy for lesbians, gay individuals, bisexual individuals, who people who are transgender. Not only do you face all of the customary estate planning issues that anyone experiences as you try to plan ahead and care for your family, but you may also still have to make special provisions for discriminatory treatment or unjust laws.
Hedeker Law can provide the help that you need. Our Lincolnshire LGBT estate planning lawyers represent clients in all aspects of estate planning and we will make Illinois laws work for you to provide the protections you need and deserve. Give us a call today to find out about the assistance we offer and to get answers to questions including:
- What is LGBT estate planning?
- What should be in your estate plan?
- How can a Lincolnshire LGBT estate planning lawyer help?
What is LGBT Estate Planning?
LGBT estate planning is simply estate planning, with added complications. Everyone who makes an estate plan will need to think about things like how they will earn income during retirement; what will happen to minor children if something happens to their parents; and how you wish to be remembered after death.
LGBT individuals also need to think about these things. However:
- You may have more concerns about retirement since your marriage may not have been recognized until recently, depriving you of your full ability to access retirement income on your spouse’s record.
- You may have more worries about what happens to minor children after a death if you are raising kids who aren’t adopted and who are not biologically yours.
- You may be worried about whether your family will respect your identity when you pass away, as there have been issues where transgender individuals have died and unsupportive family members have memorialized them with their birth gender, rather than their true gender.
These are just a few of many examples of why LGBT estate planning can be more challenging than for straight and cisgender people. You need an attorney who understands the different issues that you face and who can help you to use Illinois rules to overcome challenges and achieve your dreams of providing for your loved ones and ensuring a secure future.
Whether you have chosen to take advantage of the nationwide legalization of gay marriage or not, Hedeker Law understands how you can make the law work to protect yourself, your assets, your kids, and your partner.
What Should Be in Your Estate Plan?
The specifics of what must be in an estate plan can vary substantially depending on your family situation, finances, and goals for the future. The need for a customized plan is why talking with an attorney is so essential.
However, while every plan is different, there are a few common components of an LGBT estate plan including:
- A guardianship plan for children in case something happens to their parents when the children are under 18.
- A plan to make use of strategic investment accounts, like IRAs, so you can maximize the chances of saving enough for a secure retirement.
- Pre-planning a funeral so you can ensure your memorial is reflective of who you truly were in life.
You also need to use tools like living wills and advanced directives to make healthcare choices in advance; trusts so you can protect assets and have more control over inheritances; and wills so you can provide instructions on guardianship, asset distribution, and other relevant issues.
You should think carefully about how these tools will work, given the reality of your life. For example, if you are concerned that unsupportive family members might challenge a will in which you left everything to a same sex partner, you may wish to consider alternatives such as a trust, which will be harder to contest.
How can a Lincolnshire LGBT Estate Planning Lawyer Help You?
Hedeker Law understands what is involved in LGBT estate planning and we can provide you with advice on setting goals for your future and then making those goals a reality.
We work with lesbians, gay men, bisexual individuals and transgender individuals to understand the unique challenges you face and we help you to make an estate plan that truly works for you. Give us a call at 847-913-5415 or contact us online to find out why clients in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas throughout Chicago trust us for estate planning.