Five Ways to Prepare For the Unexpected

In this astonishing year, where reality is even stranger than fiction, it’s hard to know what will happen next. Economic insecurity, natural disasters, and political upheaval all fuel a sense of anxiety—especially among many of us in the LGBTQ community. And of course, these worries come in conjunction with concerns about our own health and the fear of COVID-19. In this climate of uncertainty, the best steps we can take are to control the things we can, to be ready for events that could happen, even if they are hard to think about. Here are five things to do that […]

Navigating the Chapters of Bankruptcy

Due to COVID-19, record numbers of businesses, families and individuals are struggling to fulfill their debt obligations. Filing for bankruptcy can be a very helpful tool, with several options available. Chapter 7:  Individuals and families Chapter 7 can be a quick, easy way to eliminate credit card debt, tax debt, personal loans, old balances from car repossessions and early termination of apartment leases. There is no limit on the amount of debt that Chapter 7 can eliminate.  Chapter 7 does not mean that individuals and families must give up their home, cars, jewelry, bank accounts or other assets.  To qualify, […]

How Bankruptcy Can Bring a Fresh Start

Bankruptcy is a sensitive subject to discuss – especially now during the COVID pandemic when unprecedented numbers of people and businesses worldwide are facing financial hardship. An unnecessary stigma is associated with the word, “bankruptcy,” and many people have the false impression that it means failure. As children, we are taught that bankruptcy is how people lose in Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly. The reality is that bankruptcy can be the best financial decision for individuals, families and business owners. The purpose of bankruptcy, as stated by the Supreme Court in 1934 is to give “the honest but unfortunate debtor…a […]

Trans? Here’s Why You Need An Advance Medical Directive

In some ways, there has never been a better time to be trans. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employee cannot be fired simply for being gay, lesbian, or transgender—a historic victory for the LGBTQ community. And a broad majority of Americans now support trans rights, enabling individuals to move ahead in politics, the professional world, and their own communities regardless of their gender identity. But as any trans person will tell you, much remains to be done. Trans individuals are often targets of violence, and the legal protections that include sexual orientation often specifically exclude gender […]

Writing Your Own Epilogue

Shakespeare said, “A good play needs no epilogue.” When a story is compellingly told, in other words, there is no need for commentary after the curtain falls. Like a play that is well written, a life that is well lived speaks for itself. But living well includes knowing that you have planned for what happens after you are gone. This foresight includes how easily your estate will be passed down to the people you care about. Have you written a will that names someone to settle your estate? If something were to happen to you, do you know who would […]

Easy Estate Planning In a Covid-19 World

Sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic has left many of us with time to think. As news outlets keep an anxious tally of each day’s deaths and new infections, it is natural to consider how well prepared we are for the unexpected. What would happen if I got sick? Who would have the right to take care of me? If the end came suddenly, how would my final arrangements be handled? Who would inherit my assets and settle my estate? These are difficult questions to grapple with under the best of circumstances. In the midst of a global health […]

ICE detention for adults and children; how many will die?

The world is in the grip of a global pandemic, the COVID-19. Governments are mandating safe distancing to reduce the chance of getting infected with COVID-19. Stores, restaurants, bars, and gyms are ordered to close to protect the local communities. And what is happening to those who are being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”)? Are they being released to home detention to limit their exposure? NO! ICE officers are waiting like vultures for undocumented people to come out of hospitals and stores, and arresting them for the “crime” of being in the United States without proper documentation. ICE […]

How to Disinherit Your Disapproving Relatives

Fans of the comic strip Peanuts might remember a panel in which Patty and Violet are planning a party. “Let’s not invite Charlie Brown,” Patty says. “Okay, we won’t invite Charlie Brown,” Violet replies. “And let’s not invite Lucy,” Patty continues. “Fine. We won’t invite Lucy,” Violet agrees. Then, looking up from her list, Patty exclaims, “It’s a lot more fun not inviting people than it is inviting them!” The impulse that prompted Patty’s remark can also apply when writing a will. The crazy aunt who makes homophobic remarks. She’s out. The estranged brother who refused to attend your gay […]

Where is the Best Place to Keep Your Will?

Your last will and testament is probably the most important document you will ever sign. It’s the one item that simply must be located when the need arises. It says who will settle your estate and who will inherit your worldly goods. It can also nominate guardians for your children, appoint trustees, and disinherit hostile relations. Where should you keep such a vital document? Probably not where you might think. Wills are decidedly low-tech instruments. Despite their importance, they consist of nothing more than paper bearing printed words and a “wet” signature. In order to open an estate, you need […]

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

Any parent will tell you that raising children isn’t easy. The late-night feedings, public tantrums, and constant need for attention can leave even the most devoted mom or dad feeling exhausted. But for those of us in the LGBTQ community, simply becoming a parent can be just as challenging. Whether we try adoption, surrogacy, or other means, the process is likely to involve anxious waiting, many false starts, and difficult legal hurdles. It’s natural then, that same-sex couples and other LGBTQ parents are especially grateful for their children and would do anything to protect them. This sense of devotion should […]