As an LGBTQ individual, you know that sometimes the laws do not provide you with the full measure of their protection because of your gender identity or because of your sexuality. While efforts for equal rights have come a long way, LGBTQ individuals still may face estate planning challenges that straight individuals and couples do not.
At Sinclair Prosser Gasior, we understand the unique issues which arise due to your LGBTQ status and we can help you to make certain you identify and use the legal tools necessary to protect yourself and to protect your family. To get personalized advice with LGBTQ estate planning in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland, give us a call today at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080. You can also get some of your basic questions answered by a member of our legal team including:
- Do I need LGBTQ estate planning help?
- What is involved with LGBTQ estate planning in Maryland?
- How can an Maryland LGBTQ estate planning lawyer help me?
Do I Need LGBTQ Estate Planning Help?
If you are concerned about the medical care you will receive in an emergency; the guardianship of your children; your financial security during retirement; or what will happen to your property after death, you need LGBTQ estate planning help.
While many of these issues are faced by straight individuals as well as LGBTQ individuals, you may have unique issues such as an inability to get your spouse’s Social Security benefits due to a delay in the recognition of your marriage or a relationship with children who are not biologically your own and who have not been formally adopted.
Planning to protect your assets, your health autonomy, and your family is extremely important. There are many different legal tools available for you to use, but you need to know what those legal tools are so you can avoid mistakes and get the protection you are expecting. This is why it is so important to get estate planning help.
Estate planning help is not just for the elderly either. In fact, taking action when you are younger can allow you to get broader protection and can ensure that your family does not face very difficult choices if something happens to you.
What is Involved with LGBTQ Estate Planning in Maryland?
The creation of your estate plan is a very personalized process, and our legal team will discuss your goals, your family situation, and your concerns about the future. Once we have helped you to determine what you wish to accomplish with estate planning, we will make effective use of all legal tools in Maryland which can help you to achieve security and peace of mind. Your plan, for example, may include:
- Pre-planning your funeral. There have been cases where the families of transgender individuals planned a funeral, memorial, and gravestone with a birth name and gender rather than a true name and gender.
- Planning for the care of your children. If you or a partner has children you are raising who have not been formally adopted and are not biological children, you must ensure you have made provisions regarding who will serve as guardian for the children if something happens to either partner.
- Planning for a health emergency. If you become incapacitated, you need to make sure you have named someone to manage assets and to make medical choices. It is also beneficial to use advanced directives to provide details on what kinds of medical care you want, such as whether extraordinary measures should be taken to save your life.
- Planning for the transfer of assets. While a will can allow you to transfer assets through probate, you may wish to explore the use of joint accounts or trusts in case you are concerned any family members will contest your will. If you have a partner you are not married to, you may also need to address estate tax issues.
These are just a few of the key things which need to be considered in the creation of an estate plan for LGBTQ individuals.
How Can a Maryland LGBTQ Estate Planning Lawyer Help Me?
Sinclair Prosser Gasior has a long track record of providing help to gay individuals, lesbians, bisexual individuals, and people who are transgender. If you live in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland and you want to make plans to protect your family and to ensure your own future is secure even in the face of tragedy, contact us online or give us a call at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080.