Many of us in the LGBT community were happy to see 2016 come to an end. Last year we felt the shock of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. We mourned the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael. And we suffered a setback in the march toward equality through the election of Donald Trump.
This last event has left many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans feeling no more optimistic about the year ahead. The LGBT community hasn’t been the primary target of Mr. Trump’s animus, but Mike Pence, his vice president, is decidedly anti-gay. Their rise to power—and the formation of a Republican administration—has worrying implications for 2017 and beyond.
A second home can a special place where friendships are renewed and energies restored. It may be the scene of family gatherings that are held summer after summer until they become treasured annual traditions. Whether the property is a condo, cottage, or grand château, its walls may hold some of life’s fondest memories.
It’s natural, then, to want your second home to be enjoyed by the next generation after you are gone. But deciding how to accomplish that goal poses a special estate-planning challenge.
You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams, you’ve fallen in love, and you’ve gotten married. Because same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide, the laws and regulations that apply to married straight couples will apply to you as well. But if you or your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, these rules might not be what you would expect when it comes to receiving gifts or inheriting from each other.
When planning any kind of an event, nothing is more important than putting the right person in charge. And when the “event” is as personal and important as your own funeral, it’s essential to have it managed by someone who knows what would be meaningful—to you and the loved ones you leave behind.
So who will plan your funeral? Will it be someone who wants to honor your life appropriately and has your best interests at heart? Each of us would like to think so, but as members of the LGBT community, we need to take special care to ensure that the right person oversees our final arrangements.