Legal Documents to Protect Your Family

Until same-sex couples are granted the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples everywhere, we must find other ways to protect our families. If we fail to do so, the law may grant important rights and privileges to our biological family members, but not our lifetime partners, in times of crises, such as sickness or death.

Similarly, if we fail to compensate for the lack of marriage rights for same-sex couples, breakups may lead to even more heartache and conflict than necessary. For this reason, you need to think about questions such as:

  • Who do you want to make health care and financial decisions for you if you become sick and incapable of making them for yourself? 
  • If you are a parent, how do you wish to share parenting responsibilities or, in the event of a breakup, custody of your child? 
  • And what do you want to happen to your property when you die?

Then you need to complete the legal documents, in consultation with an attorney, that will help make your wishes known.

This section describes a number of the documents same-sex couples can use to protect their important relationships.

More Information:

For more information about life and estate planning for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people please visit the HRC Estate Planning page or email