LGBT and "Nontraditional" Families

Estate planning can be complicated, especially for unmarried and LGBT couples. I work closely with my clients to secure the rights of every family. 


Many relationships today do not fit a "traditional" model. Unfortunately, Michigan law does not recognize unmarried partnerships in the same way it recognizes married relationships.

For instance, if a person who is "unmarried" dies without a Will or Trust, Michigan divides that person's property according to the traditional model of "family" (some portion goes to the spouse, some portion to the kids, perhaps some portion to parents, and so on).

For couples who do not have an estate plan and who are "unmarried" in the eyes of Michigan law, intestacy discriminates against the surviving partner, who is left with nothing.


Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your intent is carried out after your death. Joint tenancy and living trusts are valuable tools that provide for your partner and family after your death. A financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, and HIPAA releases also ensure that your partner has meaningful participation in case of an emergency.

I am happy to work with you to create an estate plan that works for you and your family.