Friday, November 07, 2008

Spin Down Friday

What a week it's been and the nation is still basking in the afterglow of that significant "page turn" that resulted in that now historic vote. However, I believe that the honeymoon will short and sweet, as a rattled electorate is ready for that effusive "change" that was chanted from coast to coast. Brace yourselves, because when those wheels start turning or not turning, some body gonna have to do some splainin and pretty damn quick. O.K. Mr. President elect, all eyes are on you sir. With that said, I'm sitting tall in the big seat and ready to keep coming at ya with our special brand of commentary, updates, links, video and lot's of just stuff. Let's go....


ACT 1 Shut Out: In my last post I gave a brief assessment of that ill conceived measure entitled ACT 1, which wanted to prohibit cohabiting adults from adopting or acting as foster parents. This thinly veil issue sponsored by those Family Council folks, actually was another swipe at keeping GLBTQ individuals from being considered for participating in such endeavors as well as another initiative to disenfranchise. However, this forum reported earlier this year on several occasions of the dissent and ongoing power struggle that was taking place among those who were planning the offensive campaign. And now, since this measure has passed. I need to remind you dear readers that all that messiness and cattiness not only caused this debacle but again calls into question much about the local GLBTQ community and it's supposedly allies. Let's flashback a few post shall we. Various sources shared with me about the infighting involving towering egos, hurt feelings, accusations with racial overtones, hidden agendas and stealth activities culminating in members of the Center for Artistic group literally being "asked out" of the campaign process, with additional activist bewildered and befuddled. Furthermore, I didn't mind naming names, such as Rep. Kathy Webb and Jay Barth, whom allegedly were prominent figures in the brouhaha. So, what does all this mean? Folks it sounds like all is not kosher in river city. Especially when issues are being haphazardly handled, certain allies with limited GLBTQ "comfort zones" and last but not least much of the SGL community that's content with apathetic complacency. Boy, doesn't seem like much of that "change" stuff is trickling this way...

Rainbow Money101: In these economic times, we all need a little primer about subjects that will eventually be apart of our construct. I enjoy reading such items and hopefully you will too...

The Four Essentials of a Sound Estate Plan for GLBT Individuals

From Timothy Mahoney, HRC's Director of Estate Planning:
When it comes to Life and Estate Planning, GLBT Americans face a greater challenge, as we do in so much of our lives. By failing to make informed choices, the legal system instead will choose for us. The law will always intervene if we do not plan for ourselves, and the law is written primarily and almost exclusively for non-gay, married couples and traditional families. These choices, if made under existing state law, generally do not reflect the wishes of most GLBT individuals. We will continue instead to see our relationships dishonored, our needs unstated, our desires unmet and our precious savings dedicated to causes we do not support or to federal and state taxes that might well be avoided.
So what can you do to protect yourself, your relationship and your family? There are four documents that every individual should have as part of a sound estate plan. Depending on the state in which you live, numbers two and three may be combined into one document.
1. Last Will and Testament2. Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare/Healthcare Surrogate3. Living Will/Advanced Directive4. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
If you are in a relationship, you might also consider a Domestic Partnership Agreement. And, if you or your partner have minor children, you should have a Co-Parenting Agreement and a Trust that benefits your child(ren). The co-parenting agreement is especially important if one of you is a biological parent and the other is not, and you live in an area that does not allow second-parent adoptions..
Another document that can be extremely beneficial is a Living Trust. While not needed by everyone, a Living Trust should be discussed with your estate planning professional to see if it is beneficial to your needs.
So let’s get into some of the details of how these estate planning tools work and what they accomplish. More detailed information about each can be found by following the links.
Last Will and Testament
• Names a personal representative/executor and a successor.• Pays your debts and taxes.• Distributes your property and assets through outright gifts, contingent gifts, and residual gifts.• Can establish a Trust.
Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare/Healthcare Surrogate
• States “triggering event” that allows your agent to make decisions on your behalf.• Names a person to act as your agent and a successor agent.• Agent is given first priority to visit you in the hospital and decides who else can visit.• Authorize or decline medical treatment and surgical procedures on your behalf.• Receive your personal property recovered by any hospital or police agency at the time of your incapacitation.
Living Will / Advanced Directive
• Your direction for your own medical care and your right to decide.• Outlines the level of medical care; pain management; and nutrition & hydration.• Works “hand-in-hand” with the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
• States a “triggering event”• Names an agent/personal representative and a successor agent to act in your name• States what powers are granted to agent in your name:• Open and close accounts; buy and sell assets; collect rent; sign checks; etc.
You can see that these documents are critical to protecting your intentions and desires. Even people who are legally married should have a sound estate plan in place. Remember, if you do not make the decisions in advance, each state has laws in place that will make those decisions for you. Decisions that might often run counter to your intentions, desires or wishes. It is extremely important to consult with a local estate planning professional about your individual needs. This is not something you want to do yourself!
For more information about estate planning, please visit http://www.hrc.org/.

1 comment:

Rick Williams said...

This is great information. Thanks for sharing.