“For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and couples, life can be complicated,” writes nolo.com.” Relationships, jobs, and daily activities mean that most of us come in contact with the law regularly–and for LGBT folks, that means staying in touch with current laws and rules,” Nolo observes.

Meanwhile, as COVID-19 sweeps the world,the LGBTQ community faces unique challenges, a Human Rights Campaign memo points out. The HRC Foundation estimates there are nearly 14 million LGBTQ adults and 2 million LGBTQ youth in the United States with more than five million working in jobs that are more likely to be impacted by COVID-19, including restaurants and food services, hospitals, K-12 and higher education, and retail industries.

Estate planning, recommended for all couples, is an absolute necessity for LBGTQ couples, Joseph Kapp and Nicholas Burkholder observe in an AARP piece. ”If one of you died or had a terminal illness, would there be enough assets for the survivor to maintain her or his standard of living? The federal government and many pensions view same-sex couples as strangers, and therefore, same-sex couples have a smaller safety net than heterosexual married couples because they are not eligible to receive Social Security or pension survivorship benefits,” the authors caution.

A colleague from the state of Minnesota has compiled a list of legal documents that may be of particular importance to both married and unmarried LBGTQ couples and singles:

  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Dissolution of domestic partnerships
  • Divorce of LGBTQ individuals from same-sex or opposite-sex partners
  • Asset division in long-term non-marital commitments
  • Asset division in long-term partnerships but short-term marriages
  • Child custody, parenting time, and child support issues with both same-sex and opposite-sex co-parents
  • Adoption, including step-parent and second-parent adoption
  • Establishing paternal rights and privileges
  • Wills, trusts, and estate planning
  • Medical and financial powers of attorney
  • Domestic violence protection
  • Transgender legal issues, including name changes, birth certificate amendments, and parental conflicts over the care and support of children who identify as transgender or non-binary

No couple is the same, we realize at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates P.C.  Individual situations need to be understood in light of Indiana laws in order to help LBGTQ individuals and couples prepare for the future.

– by Rebecca W. Geyer