Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

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The landscape concerning same-sex relationships is changing. It is vital for lawyers to stay on top of these changes. Attorneys who represent lesbian and gay clients must provide creative estate planning that protects both parties, their children and their future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590313824
  • Publisher: American Bar Association
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 10.14 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan M. Burda practices in Lakewood, Ohio. In addition to her solo practice, she is the director of the Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program.
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Table of Contents

About the Author ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
Chapter 1 Representing Lesbian and Gay Clients 1
An Underserved Population 1
Establishing a Niche Practice 2
Preliminary Considerations 3
Expanding a Practice to Include Lesbian and Gay Clients 4
Necessary Changes in Your Practice 4
Benefits of This Niche Practice 6
Chapter 2 Understanding Legal Issues Affecting Lesbian and Gay Clients 7
General Issues 8
Same-Sex Couples Are Legal Strangers 9
Government Benefits Unavailable to Same-Sex Couples 11
Written Agreements between Same-Sex Couples 12
Children 13
Tax Considerations 13
Health Care Considerations 14
Elder Members of the Lesbian and Gay Community 17
Conclusion 18
Chapter 3 Agreements and Contracts 19
Domestic Partnership Agreements 21
Shared-Parenting Agreements 25
Chapter 4 Taxes and Trusts and Wills, Oh, My! 29
Wills 29
Prevalidating a Will 32
Designation of Heir Proceedings 32
Will Clauses to Include 33
Pets 34
Executor 34
Appointment of a Guardian 35
Trusts 36
Living Trusts 37
Testamentary Trusts 40
Spendthrift Trusts 40
Discretionary Trusts 41
Pet Trusts 43
Charitable Remainder Trusts 45
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts 46
Taxes 47
Gift Taxes 48
Jointly Held Property 49
IRAs 49
State Death Taxes 49
Other Considerations 51
Conclusion 52
Chapter 5 Avoiding Probate 53
Standard Methods of Avoiding Probate 54
Living Trusts 54
Joint Tenancy 54
Payable-on-Death Accounts 57
Life Insurance 58
Transfer-on-Death Vehicle Certificates 61
Transfer-on-Death Deeds 61
Chapter 6 Children 63
Questions to Ask 65
Shared-Parenting Agreements 65
Second-Parent Adoption 66
Standby Guardian 68
Testamentary Provisions 68
Difficult Issues 69
"Psychological Parent" 70
Life-Planning Issues 71
Chapter 7 Essential Estate Planning Documents 73
Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills 73
Designation of Agent 75
Funeral Arrangements 75
Guardian/Conservator Nomination 77
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances 77
Business Powers of Attorney 78
Government Accounts 79
Chapter 8 Lesbian and Gay Seniors 81
Older Americans Act 84
Nursing Home Care 85
Health Care Issues Affecting Lesbian and Gay Seniors 87
Social Security 88
Medicaid and Medicare 89
Insurance Concerns of Lesbian and Gay Seniors 92
Conclusion 93
Chapter 9 Other Issues and Considerations 95
Debts, Credit Reports, and Credit Cards 95
Credit Reports 95
Credit Accounts 97
Tax Returns 97
Social Security Benefits 98
Pension and Retirement Plans 98
Military Retired Pay 100
Nursing Homes, Retirement Communities, and Home Health Care 101
Foreign Same-Sex Marriages, Religious Same-Sex Marriages, and Civil Unions 102
Business Succession 104
Long-Term Care Insurance 104
Disability Insurance 105
Conclusion 105
Chapter 10 Finding and Marketing to the Gay Community 107
Have a Plan 108
Marketing to a Niche 109
Lesbian and Gay Legal Organizations 111
Educational Seminars 112
Write a Newsletter 113
Other Marketing Strategies 115
Teaching 116
Conclusion 116
A Estate Planning Forms 117
B Resources 177
Index 191
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