Sunday, March 14, 2010

Legal Considerations for Late Breaking Gays

Yes, as a LBG (late breaking gay) there are a few things that you need to talk to a lawyer about. This will cost you a little but you need to get this stuff done.

And here is why:

1) You need to cut the x-wife out of the will if you die,

2) you need to not be a burden on your kids if you get sick and can't speak for yourself, and

3) you need to make that relationship with your new partner as legal as the current law will allow.

Now number 3 may have to wait till you do have a partner but number 1 and 2 can't wait. Just do it.

Remember that no matter how committed you and your partner are, the law considers you perfect strangers. At risk of sounding like your Mother "you could get hit by a truck." Without this paperwork that person that you love so much is going to go through an even worse nightmare if you do get hit by that proverbial truck.

He will not be able to speak for you or handle your finances or even make a single decision about your care or even your burial. All of that stuff was automatic when you were married. None of those rights exist when it is two men or two women in a relationship.

So, put it all down in writting and you get a lot of those rights back. Here is nutshell are the things that you need to get done.

1) New Will - pretty straight forward, you take what you have after you gave up everything in the divorce and you leave it to your kids and/or partner.

2) Durable Power of Attorney - this gives someone (your partner or if you aren't there yet I suggest the one kid that is still talking to you) the ability to speak on your behalf regarding just about anything other than medical issues when you can't because of illness. This enables your designee to pay your bills, taxes etc. You give them specific directions on broad guidelines but they have to follow them. You may be more in charge than you ever where before in your life.

3) Medical Power of Attorney - yes this tells that special someone that he or she has the power to pull the plug. Nothing says I love you like a Medical Power of Attorney.

4) Advance Directive - this spells out what the designee under the Medical Power of Attorney should do and when. It keeps you in charge to the end and keeps the end from being strung out.

5)Declaration of Guardian - allows you to determine in advance who will be your legal guardian if you should ever need one.

6) HIPAA Release - the federal law known as HIPAA keeps your medical information private. You need this release to allow any medical practitioner to discuss your medical condition with your partner.

7) Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains - yep - just like it sounds.

Don't try to do this on line. I know there are ads for this right here on this page but you need to get a good gay lawyer, not a straight lawyer, and discuss what you want.

When the attorney has the paper work done invite some friends over for dinner to be the legal witnesses. Break out the good china and a good bottle of wine and make it a ceremoney. After all you are gay.

Afterwards you need copies for you, your partner, for your attorney. Next scan everything as a pdf and put it on a thumb drive and put it on your key chain.

But just do it! Now!

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