A Minnesota Estate Planning Lawyer Discusses the Possible Impact of the New Administration on LGBT Families
Dear Gay Families: Protect Yourselves NOW!
It didn’t take long for the new administration to turn it’s eyes to the LGBT community. We are only 10 days into the term and I opened the Washington Post paper to find the following headline.
In my opinion, this opens the door for states to begin drafting their own legislation to legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community whether or not gay marriage withstands the all but certain future onslaught.
What can you do?
- Join groups protecting LGBTQ rights
- Join organizations protecting anyone’s rights – it is a slippery slope
- Donate time and money to such organizations
- PROTECT YOURSELVES
How do you protect your family?
- GET YOUR ESTATE PLAN IN ORDER!
It’s clear that marriage isn’t enough. Work with a qualified attorney knowledgeable about LGBTQ families to draft an estate plan. This ensures that you choose who makes financial and medical decisions for you. And, more importantly, allows you to pick a guardian for your minor children, if you have any. While individuals may “object to your lifestyle” with regard to your marriage, the same can’t be said for your Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive or Trust.
I have covered the advantages of trusts at length in this blog but will do another post because this is a great time to consider one of the most important aspects of a trust. IT IS PRIVATE!!!
- ADOPT YOUR CHILD(REN).
I can’t emphasize this enough! You must adopt your child(ren). I know that marriage rights meant legally putting the name of the non-biological mom on a birth certificate. But, this is not enough. This new administration will allow states to deny your parental rights. And it doesn’t need to go that far. A federal agency (social security) or a business may disagree with your relationship/marriage and decide to take a firm stance. You may win in the long run, but at what cost? Taking your child away if the biological mother is incapacitated or worse while you fight to retain custody?
I know this is alarmist but so is everything going on right now! Most of us didn’t think he would do many of the things he has already done.
Even if the White House statement that it’s not on their radar right now is true, I argue that this gives states implicit approval to draft their own “conscientious objector” laws to deny rights to gay families.