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Trusts are a very common estate planning tool. In Pennsylvania there are numerous types of trusts such as charitable trusts, special needs trusts, life insurance trusts, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, marital trusts and bypass trusts aka credit shelter trusts. Please contact our LGBTQ rights attorneys to discuss your estate planning and retirement planning needs and how they can help protect you.

On June 26, 2015, a landmark civil rights case was decided by the Supreme Court. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to all same-sex couples by the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The ruling has had profound effects on the LGBTQ community and has allowed many couples to tie the knot officially. This has been phenomenal news for same-sex couples, in both personal and legal terms. Same-sex couples can now claim unlimited marital exemption for federal estate and gift taxes. While there are many positives that have come from legalizing same-sex marriages, there are also legal challenges that come along with it.

Finally, having the ability to marry also creates more legal planning for LGBTQ couples than ever before. Couples now have to deal with estate planning. Even with the legalization of same-sex marriage, not everyone is supportive of these unions. Prejudice and anti-LGBTQ discrimination still exist, making estate planning even more critical for same-sex couples.

To keep your assets and loved ones protected even after you are gone, you must work with a trust lawyer. For LGBTQ individuals, it is essential to work with an experienced LGBTQ+ trust lawyer who understands the complexities that come with being a same-sex couple or same-sex parents.

Why You Need A Trust Lawyer

Proper estate planning is vital for all individuals and marriages. With the prejudices and anti-LGBTQ discrimination that still exist surrounding same-sex marriages, it is even more crucial for same-sex couples to create an estate plan. Working with a qualified trust lawyer is the best way to develop an estate plan that protects the living spouse or other beneficiaries.

What a Trust Lawyer is For

A trust lawyer has the task of helping individuals create an estate plan that will be put into place after their passing. An experienced trust attorney will set up a trust on your behalf. At the heart of this trust is a will. Within your will, you will be able to create multiple stipulations surrounding your estate. Some of the most common stipulations are listed below.

  1. Determine who will inherit your assets.
  2. Nominate a guardian for your children.
  3. Appoint another adult to manage any assets your children will inherit.
  4. Name an executor.
  5. Direct how your taxes should be paid.
  6. Forgive any outstanding debts.

There are a variety of reasons LGBTQ individuals and couples should work with a trust lawyer. Some of the most valuable reasons are listed below.

  1. Creating a legally enforceable document.
  2. Lowering emotional stress during a difficult loss.
  3. Protecting minor children and children that may not be biologically related to the deceased.
  4. Reducing the overall estate taxes for the family.
  5. Minimizing family drama surrounding inheritance.
  6. Avoid going to probate court.
  7. Maintain the privacy of the estate and its assets.

Circumstances That Require a Trust Lawyer

There are a variety of circumstances that call for the need of a Philadelphia gay friendly lawyer handling all types of trusts. Some of the most common circumstances that require a trust lawyer are listed below.

  1. You have substantial assets in 401(k)s or IRAs.
  2. You have a taxable estate.
  3. You own real estate in more than one state.
  4. You own one or more businesses.
  5. You have minor children.
  6. You have adoptive children or children you are the non-biological parent to.
  7. You have recently lost a spouse or other family member.
  8. You were recently divorced.
  9. You are in a second marriage.
  10. You want to leave some or all of your estate to charity.

Let Our LGBT Trust Lawyers Protect Your family

For LGBTQ parents, estate planning comes along with a unique set of concerns. If you are the adoptive or non-biological parent of your child, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure that the child is protected after you are gone. In the same respect, creating a legal estate plan will legally protect your spouse from any unsupportive family members coming in and trying to disrupt your final wishes.

Legal Issues That Could Arise Without a Trust Lawyer

If you decide not to work with a gay trust lawyer to create an estate plan before your passing, there are a variety of legal issues that could arise. Your beneficiaries will not be as protected as they could be, leaving them susceptible to legal disputes over your estate and its assets. Without a legal document that lays out your wishes, extended family members could try to gain control over the estate, especially in a situation where you are the non-biological parent to your children. To prevent this scenario from happening and to leave your loved ones without any headaches, it is best to work with an experienced trust lawyer in order to get all of your affairs in order before your passing.

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