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SALK Day 20 – Tyler Allen Law Firm

Today’s sponsor is Tyler Allen of the Tyler Allen Law Firm, PLLC in Phoenix, Arizona.  He asked me to tell you about his estate planning services for LGBT couples.  This is a topic that is hugely important because LGBT couples need to create legal agreements between the partners in order to obtain a fraction of the rights that are automatically bestowed to their married heterosexual counterparts.

Photo courtesy of Tyler K. Allen

Tyler Allen assists LGBT couples in estate planning.  This includes creating wills, living wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare powers of attorney.  Allen takes the time to understand each client’s unique situation and designs an estate plan that ensures that the client receives the maximum benefits for themselves and their loved ones.  His goal is to foresee and prevent problems in determining who should receive your possessions after you pass.

Arizona is not as cool as Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC where same sex marriage is legal.  Therefore, it is imperative that LGBT couples protect their rights and relationships with domestic partnership agreements.  This is a legal document that is similar to a prenuptial agreement.  It declares how property will be owned in the relationship and how it will be distributed in the event of one partner’s death or if the couple breaks up.

Arizona is also severely lame in that it only recognizes one parent – the biological or adoptive parent – as a child’s parent.  Allen can also create parenting agreements to protect the best interests of LGBT couples’ children.  These agreements state what the couple’s joint rights and responsibilities are.  These agreements are exceedingly helpful to ensure that both parents can continue to be in the children’s lives if couple ever separates.

Committed LGBT couples need powers of attorney for each other.  A power of attorney lets a person decide who will make decisions for them in the event that they are incapacitated.  Married heterosexuals are automatically given the power to make decisions on their spouse’s behalf under these circumstances.  LGBT couples need healthcare powers of attorney to make medical decisions for their partner and financial powers of attorney to make financial decisions.  Without a power of attorney, the person’s family and not their partner will be given the power to make these decisions, regardless of how long the couple has been together or whether the partner is the only one who knows what their partner would have wanted.

If you need assistance in establishing an estate plan or domestic partnership, please contact Tyler K. Allen for a free consultation.  He also maintains a fabulous gay rights blog.  If you are not LGBT, you can contact him too – he’s open to heteros too – married and unmarried.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Tyler Allen.   For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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