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LGBT Estate Planning

For a long time, lesbian and gay couples faced discrimination under the law, which made estate planning much more essential so their families could enjoy the same protections as straight couples. With the Supreme Court’s recognition of the right to homosexual marriage, estate planning has become easier.

While the law has changed, there are still unique issues faced by many homosexual couples to ensure their partners and children are protected today, tomorrow, and in the future. Barbara M. Pizzolato provides legal representation to LGBT couples who want to make the laws work effectively to meet their needs. To get help with a comprehensive estate plan that provides the security you and your loved ones deserve, call today. You can also get answers to important questions including:



Although homosexual couples can now marry, not everyone will choose to take advantage of that opportunity. If you are in a committed relationship and choose not to become legally wed, you will need to ensure you create an estate plan that will give your partner power of attorney and legal authority to access your medical information and act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. You will also need to create a plan for the transfer of assets which is aimed at reducing tax liability and protecting your partner’s rights to the shared property.

Even if you marry, estate planning is still important – just as it is for any married couples or those with children. When LGBT couples have kids, only one parent can be the natural parent. While adoption can create a legal relationship, adoption is not always pursued- and when it is not, special steps must be taken to ensure that children are taken care of as part of an estate plan as well.


LGBT estate planning must be custom tailored to the couple and their family situation. Some of the different components of your estate plan may include:

• The creation of wills and trusts to ensure seamless asset transfer and reduce estate taxes.
• The creation of a power of attorney to ensure an agent is chosen to take action on behalf of either partner who becomes incapacitated.
• The development of a comprehensive plan using all legal tools to protect minor and adult children, ensuring their guardianship is clear and that they can inherit from both parents. These and other legal tools allow you to take advantage of powerful protections in the law that protect you, your partner, and your family in an uncertain future.


Barbara M. Pizzolato has developed a deep understanding of new rights that homosexual couples can enjoy following the Supreme Court’s decision on the legalization of gay marriage. Couples can get advice on how to take advantage of their new rights if they choose to marry and wish to create an estate plan.

Couples who opt out of marriage can also get the advice they need to ensure their loved ones are financially secure and are able to be involved with end of life issues. To learn more and to discuss how you can get a plan designed for you from a Southwest Florida LGBT estate planning lawyer with many years of experience, call today

Fort Myers (Main Office):

8660 College Pkwy

Suite 400

Fort Myers, FL 33919

P: (239) 225-7911

F: (239) 221-0279



By Appointment only

New Jersey Office:

c/o Richard A. Feldman, Esq.

80 Main Street, Suite 140

West Orange, NJ 07052

P: (866) 817-4713

F: (239) 221-0279

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