In most areas of the U.S., it takes the law some time to catch-up to today’s definition of family. As gay and lesbian parents – forming our families – we are cultural pioneers. Most governments have not (or will not) offer security via marriage equality, so it’s our responsibility to protect our families.
The Law Center for Children & Families – in Madison, Wisconsin – recommends that your family take at least the following steps as soon as possible:
- Work with an attorney knowledgeable in same-sex estate planning to make a Will and/or Trust to dispose of your assets upon your death.
- Title your assets strategically.
- Consult with an income taxation accountant regarding how to maximize your family’s allowable deductions, exemptions, and credits.
- Take out life insurance policies on each other to cover some of the unavoidable tax and probate expenses to which same-sex couples are subjected by virtue of their non-marital status.
- Execute a Living Will and Durable Powers of Attorney to enable your partner to make decisions for you in the event of your incapacitation.
- Enter into a Domestic Partnership Agreement and a Co-Parenting Agreement (if applicable) with your partner, so that the two of you decide what will happen if you dissolve your relationship.
Photo: The Law Center for Children & Families