Estate Planning Attorneys for the Modern Family and the LGBTQ Community
What is the Modern Family? It includes both married and unmarried partners and members of the LGBTQ community. Estate planning complexities for the modern family extend beyond the most obvious legal questions. Non-traditional couples often face hostility within their own families and may be excluded from important health care decisions when a partner is incapacitated. A living will can eliminate this conflict. The modern family also faces unique legal challenges relating to children. Legally adopted children share the full rights of biological children in inheritance law. However, a parent in today’s modern family may not be a biological parent, and sometimes one parent is the biological or adoptive parent. This can create a situation in which the child and/or other parent do not share full familial rights. Many non-traditional families prefer to keep family matters confidential. The probate process is public. Transgender individuals and their families may face additional estate planning issues, including identity and gender markers on official documents, funeral arrangements and health care.These complexities can all be addressed with proper estate planning. Estate planning allows modern families to fill in the gaps that may be left in state and federal laws.
In the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriage. The result was to grant the same benefits to same-sex couples that heterosexual couples enjoyed, including tax and other financial perks of marriage. The decision did not solve every legal issue faced by the modern family regarding children, health care, property management and asset distribution.
Unmarried partners, whether of the same or different gender, are not recognized in New York as next of kin.
Thoughtful estate planning by an experienced professional can provide protection for the modern family. At the Law Office of Audra E Dehan, our estate planning team stays informed of changes in the laws, allowing us to implement your planning goals. We understand the challenges that the modern family faces and we will work with you to craft wills, trusts, health care proxies, living wills, powers of attorney, funeral agent appointments, cohabitation agreements, pre and post nuptial agreements and many other tools to achieve your unique goals.