Why Estate Planning is Essential for the LGBT Community

If a member of the LGBT community fails to properly plan, the result can be devastating to his or her partner and family. Having no estate plan is tantamount to giving up control of one’s estate and management of one’s well-being in times of incapacity.

The need for an estate plan is critical in case of an accident or illness that renders the partner incapable of making decisions or managing his or her affairs. Without a proper estate plan, the other partner could be legally precluded from having any role in the decision-making of his or her partner’s care, managing his or her affairs, or even having access to the incapacitated partner.

Many states and local jurisdictions offer domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar methods of legal recognition for same-sex relationships. A LGBT couple can avoid numerous problems through proper estate planning. A proper estate plan will ensure the client’s assets are distributed to whom he or she wants, when and how he or she desires and will also assure that any surviving minor children are raised by the person designated in the plan.

Proper estate planning ensures that correct strategies are used to avoid penalties, extra taxation when possible, and the court and attorney costs of probate. A Revocable Living Trust can establish the client’s domestic partner as the trustee if the client becomes incapacitated through illness or accident. The Revocable Living Trust guarantees privacy, through avoidance of probate and its process of opening court records. The Advance Medical Directive can also avoid the potential problems of the client not maintaining control over his or her health care decisions and the domestic partner not having access to his or her partner during a period of incapacitation.

We here at The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C. have strategies in place to help LGBT couples. With advance planning, each person, regardless of sexual orientation, can retain the benefit of the money, income and assets it has taken a lifetime to accumulate. Visit for more details. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a consultation. 

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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