Serving The Massachusetts LGBTQ Community
At DangerLaw, LLC, we have both the experience and the passion for working with LGBTQ couples.
Our approach assures that you will get compassionate, up-to-date advice, and that we are sensitive to your concerns and feelings. While we are excited to share our expertise in every aspect of our practice with LGBTQ community members. Below, however, are some areas we have found are of particular interest to our LGBTQ clients.
LGBTQ Estate Planning
No matter your age, whether you’re just embarking on life after college, reaching middle age or retirement age, it’s never too early to work on your estate planning. Each phase of life has its own needs and challenges, but it’s always a good idea to put your plan in writing.
For same-sex couples, this is especially true. We are all about adding layers of protection and peace of mind, for you and your loved ones. If you are young and just starting out as a couple, you will likely be building wealth. You may be investing in property, sharing expenses, and opening bank accounts together. By creating a Will and naming the person you want as executor of your estate, in an emergency, you won’t have the added layer of grief of battling with your partner’s or spouse’s parents or other relatives about your shared assets should something go wrong.
It may be that you are aging and have never had children. Who will act as caregiver or fiduciary if you are in need? If you have not addressed these needs through documentation, you may find that the people who end up in charge of your well-being are family members who do not recognize your long-term relationship, and may even be hostile toward you or your loved one. We handle many cases involving aging couples and their concerns. Let us put your mind at ease.
Health Care Proxies and Durable Power of Attorney
In an emergency, you want to be sure that your health care wishes are respected. Given the history of discrimination in the LGBTQ community, this is especially true for us. Whether you are married or not, spelling out those wishes through Health Care Proxies and Durable Powers of Attorney help to ensure that you and your spouse or partner will be respected in the hospitals and courts.
A Health Care Proxy is a legal document that empowers the person of your choice to make medical decisions for you if you are hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. This is a very useful document, even if you are already married. It adds an extra layer of protection for you and your loved one.
Adoptions and Co-Parenting
Whether you are interested in having children together, or have children from previous relationships that you want to adopt, we can help to assure you do all things legally possible to make your family secure.
Massachusetts is, for so many reasons and especially for LGBTQ parents, a great state to start a family in. For married couples, Massachusetts is very protective of both parents’ rights, regardless of biology. For unmarried couples, there are a few extra hoops necessary to secure all parties’ rights, but the law is still very favorable. Massachusetts is not the rest of the country, however. For married couples, we do still recommend second parent adoptions, a legal proceeding which gives someone, typically the partner of a legal (biological or adoptive) parent, joint legal parentage of their child. For unmarried couples, we can recommend a host of legal documentation, including second parent adoptions, which can help protect the family you are building. Talk to your spouse or partner and find out what your goals and expectations are in regard to your family’s best interests. Then we can counsel you and help you draft the documents.