“I see the changing American family as giving people a greater opportunity to be tolerant, giving people experiences that increase their openness to others toward an understanding of what greater freedoms are all about,” says Rosenfeld, an assistant professor at Stanford University… “It’s not as if prejudice is going to go away—there are always going to be people who benefit from fanning the flames of prejudice. Nevertheless, society is changing, pretty dramatically, and in a way that has increased personal freedoms,” Rosenfeld believes.
At Geyer Law, we can’t help realizing that this month of June 2022 marks two legislative milestones for our country:
- 1924 – Loving v. Virginia ended the ban on interracial marriage in the United States.
- 2015 – Marriage equality, regardless of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity became a reality after the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
This very month of June includes two important celebrations – Juneteenth and Pride Month.
Juneteenth, which falls within Pride Month, is a day celebrated by many African Americans as Independence Day, marking the day in 1865 when enslaved Africans were read federal orders freeing them under the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
This year, the public holiday was on Monday of this week. The purpose of Juneteenth as a national holiday is to recognize the people who help facilitate change for Black citizens in the United States, remembering that all American citizens can pursue the American dream and should be protected by its laws, the Haynsworth Sinkler Boys blog explains.”By supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, we are creating a space of acceptance and appreciation,” firstnations.org affirms.
At Geyer Law, our estate planning process for same sex couples includes the creation of three documents, which, while essential for all couples, often assume particular importance in protecting the rights of same sex partners.
1. Advance Health Care Directive – designates a person to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual and allows the individual to state his or her preferences about end-of-life care.
2. HIPAA privacy authorization – allows doctors to disclose information to the health care power of attorney
3. The third document, a durable financial power of attorney, designates someone to handle financial affairs in case the individual becomes incapacitated or unable to handle financial affairs personally.
There are other aspects of concern to same-sex couples, including avoiding tax, and protecting the rights of a same-sex partner’s biological or adopted children.
Pride month and Juneteenth are reminders of the need for freedom for all – and of the need for proper estate planning.
– by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer blog team