Mid-South expert discusses importance of estate planning for LGBTQ community

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Throughout history, the LGBTQ community has fought to be afforded the same securities heterosexual couples are guaranteed.

Without proper estate planning, that fight can continue even after death.

Patrick Hicks with Trust & Will says now is a good the time to talk about estate planning.

“A lot of people put it off and they think about it as death and mortality. But we like to take a different spin on it. It’s a gift that you can give your loved ones in the future,” said Hicks.

Estate planning includes making decisions today, in the event that you won’t be able to make them yourself in the future. Typically, it includes creating a will, but there are also healthcare documents for situations where you are still alive, but incapacitated.

“In the last five to 10 years, there have been a lot of strides to equalize the rights between the LGBT community and others. We’re making good progress, but we’re not 100 percent equalized yet. Because of those gaps that still remain, it’s incredibly important for LGBTQ members to have an estate plan,” Hicks said.

Not only does estate planning provide certain legal protections for LGBTQ+ couples, but it also provides legal protections for their children as well.

“Many same sex couples have children where one parent is a biological parent, and the other parent has a non-biological parent. If that non-biological parent has not legally adopted those children, there can be complexities. If the biological parent passes away, the rights of that non-biological parent, they just may not exist,” said Hicks.

Hicks says estate planning is not one size fits all, so it’s important to work with an attorney to figure out what is right for you and your family.

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