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Published by the American Bar Association (ABA), Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples covers the struggles for equality and unique issues faced by LGBT clients, and how those issues affect estate planning.
Estate planning is more than deciding how an estate will be divided postmortem. Sure, that is a part of it, but the other part is life planning. The key is honing in on the best way to protect your clients' interests during their lifetime.
When the ABA released the second edition of this book in 2012, a mere six jurisdictions recognized marriage equality. This third edition followed on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
The court decided that "marriage is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty."
What seemed an impossible pipe dream at the turn of the century is now a reality. From now on, there is no “same-sex marriage” or “opposite-sex marriage”; there is only marriage. Marriage is just part of the equation. It is the beginning, not the end, of the legal struggle as the LGBT community seeks full rights under the law. LGBT people still face discrimination in other areas.
This new edition of Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples by award-winning author Joan M. Burda attempts to address certain struggles for equality and how these issues affect estate planning for LGBT clients.
For example, not all same-sex couples get married. These blended families will continue to present challenges that must be addressed. Preparing an estate plan for LGBT clients requires a creative and comprehensive approach. The issues these clients present are unique and involve considerations not usually seen with heterosexual clients.
Family law is becoming an integral part of every estate planner’s practice. As the field evolves there seem to be more questions than answers. For example, elderly LGBT clients face significant problems that are exclusive to that community and have often been overlooked.
This book will help lawyers better represent their clients as they address the present as well as future needs of their clientele.