• Justin Whittaker

How do you protect your assets and parental rights if you are in a same-sex marriage?

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

LGBTQ+ partners, spouses, and parents: Protect your assets and parental rights in an increasingly uncertain world.


After the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, many of my clients who are in marriages with someone of the same sex are worried about the fallout of a potential challenge to Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.


What are the potential implications? If marriages are invalidated, or LGBTQ+ parents are not permitted to adopt children (Indiana has unsuccessfully tried to overturn the right of same-sex parents to adopt a child, for example), there are many questions as to what happens to joint property or even custody in the case of the death of a spouse or partner. Would the rights go to a family member, such as the spouses’ parents – who may not be supportive of the choices their child made? Would the State separate families? Could the parent pull the plug because there was no Living Will – and that person’s long-time partner no longer has the rights given to married people? We just don’t know – and that uncertainty is a weight on many people’s minds right now.


No plan is fool-proof. But there is a way to minimize uncertainty: estate planning. In Ohio and Kentucky, I can help protect your assets and family with customized estate plans that take into account any future changes in the law by use of a trust.


Why is trust a good idea for LGBTQ+ couples? Trusts minimize judicial and political interference with your wishes. For example, if your marriage is voided because of a Supreme Court or State decision, your property and family, will be better-shielded by a trust if one or both partners die. Trusts also reduce limits expenses like court costs and attorney fees, which can mount if your wishes are contested.


We also create plans around your healthcare wishes, powers of attorney, and can even provide for your pets (they're family, too!).


Whether you and your partner are LGBTQ+ and married, in a long-term relationship, or even if you’re single, you need estate planning. Don’t allow the Court to decide what happens to your assets and family – even if you think your assets are limited or haven’t yet decided to start a family. Email Justin to set up a consultation for your estate planning today.

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