Chicago LGBTQ+ Estate Planning Attorneys
Since the Obergefell case in 2015, the United States has made progress toward recognizing the equal marriage rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Now, same-sex couples enjoy the same protections and benefits afforded to families, such as inheritance and healthcare. However, understanding the impact of progressive legislation on estate planning is vital for members of the LGBTQ+ community to secure a legacy for their families.
At Nottage and Ward, LLP, we recognize the unique challenges and considerations the LGBTQ+ community may face as they strive to protect their assets, care for their loved ones, and ensure their wishes are honored. We have over 25 years of experience and have been listed by Martindale-Hubbell in its Bar Register of Pre-eminent Lawyers.
Call our Chicago LGBTQ+ family law attorneys at (312) 332-2915 to discuss your estate planning needs.
The Legal Landscape of Marriage Equality
Legislation promoting marriage equality for same-sex couples has opened the door for LGBTQ+ couples and their families to enjoy the benefits associated with marriage. Although nationwide marriage equality is a reality, LGBTQ+ couples must consider the state-specific variations that may affect their relationships and rights. Illinois law governs issues for LGBTQ+ couples, such as inheritance, access to healthcare, joint tax filing, adoption, advanced healthcare directives, and powers of attorney.
Protect Your Assets and Loved Ones
The cornerstone of asset protection is a comprehensive estate plan that ensures your intended beneficiaries receive your assets. Effective estate plans address potential issues, such as claims from estranged family members or other individuals.
A crucial element of a comprehensive estate plan addresses the designation of beneficiaries. For example, an effective estate plan will avoid potential disputes or unintended consequences regarding the benefits of retirement accounts and life insurance policies.
Healthcare Directives and Power of Attorney
In the event of incapacity due to a severe injury or medical condition, it is crucial that decision-making authority for your finances goes to a trusted friend or loved one. An experienced estate planning lawyer is qualified to protect your interests using the following tools:
- Advance healthcare directives or living wills that express your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care.
- Medical powers of attorney designating an individual who will be responsible for making healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event of medical incapacity.
- Durable powers of attorney granting decision-making authority for financial matters in case of incapacity.
Adoption and Guardianship
Adoption can be a powerful tool for LGBTQ+ couples who seek to start a family and establish legal parent-child relationships. Continued updates to the legal landscape regarding adoption laws require the counsel of an experienced attorney to guide LGBTQ+ families through the adoption process.
Surrogacy and Assisted Reproduction
Similar to adoption, surrogacy and assisted reproduction can be crucial means of starting a family for LGBTQ+ couples. Establishing and protecting parental rights within the context of surrogacy and assisted reproduction is vital for securing the welfare of the children of LGBTQ+ couples and their futures.
There are certain tax benefits and obligations associated with marriage and estate planning. A qualified estate planning attorney is well-equipped to guide LGBTQ+ couples through the intricacies of federal and state tax laws, exemptions, and credits to mitigate the tax burden on their estates.
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community strive to actively support social causes and philanthropic goals. In addition to underlining the potential tax benefits, experienced estate planning attorneys can help you give back to your community and create a last legacy in the following ways:
- Aligning estate planning goals with philanthropic aspirations,
- Supporting LGBTQ+ causes and organizations through bequests, and
- Maximizing the impact of charitable giving within estate plans
Working with an estate planning attorney who is familiar with LGBTQ+ legal issues is vital to ensuring your estate plan reflects your values, goals, and unique circumstances. Seeking guidance and support from an experienced attorney to navigate the complexities of estate planning can help you find peace of mind for yourself and your family.
The Nottage and Ward, LLP team in Chicago firmly believes in the importance of equality and strives to provide comprehensive estate planning that is tailored to suit your individual needs. Contact us at (312) 332-2915 to see how you can get started on the path toward securing your legacy and creating a brighter future for your loved ones.
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Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for
Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.
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