Adopting a child is a blessing that changes everything for any family involved, though it is often a complicated process. It can become even more complicated for same-sex couples, and can be fraught with financial and legal risks.
Currently, an estimated 2 to 2.8 million children are being raised in families headed by LGBT parents in which one parent has no legal ties to the child. In these cases, even if the non-related parent has been present in the child’s life since birth, the child will not be inherit from the non-legal parent if that parent dies intestate (meaning without a will or a trust. In addition, if the child should become ill, the non-legal parent may not be able to visit the sick child in the hospital. Also, the child could be placed with distant relatives or in foster care if the legal parent dies without proper legal documents in place.
For these and other reasons, estate planning and incapacity planning is especially important for LGBT parents who adopt. LGBT parents need to be sure that their wills, trusts, advance medical directive, and powers of attorney are perfectly clear on who has the right to manage their legal and financial affairs in the event of incapacity, who has the right to inherit their estates on death, and who is to take legal guardianship of their children.
Same-sex couples who have an adopted child need to make sure all of their financial and legal plans are in place. We here at The Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. have strategies in place to help LGBT parents. With advance planning, each person, regardless of sexual orientation, can retain the income and assets it has taken a lifetime to accumulate and the peace of mind that their child(ren)’s needs will be adequately and properly addressed. Visit http://www.lgbtelderlaw.com for more details. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.
P.S. On Thursday, June 13, 2013, from 6 – 7:30 pm, join us for an event to educate the LGBT community about legal planning and enjoy some delicious refreshments! Find out more and register here.
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