Legacy Toolkit
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The Importance of Planning

Everyone–especially the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community–needs to put in place a comprehensive life and estate plan. Your state has its own rigid rules that address what happens to you, to your loved ones and to your assets during your lifetime–if you are incapacitated–and after your death if you don’t put in place your own life and estate plan. By preparing a plan, you can make sure that your wishes are followed by people you trust.

Planning gives you control and the opportunity to provide for loved ones and for the causes you champion. It’s easy to create a legacy of equality through a gift to HRC. Simply request a copy of our complimentary step-by-step Life & Estate Planning Guide. It will help guide you on the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones, regardless of your marital status or the state in which you live.

Key Documents

It is in your best interest to work directly with an experienced lawyer who is familiar with your state’s laws, your individual circumstances, and the unique issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. When you meet with the lawyer for the first time, ask about their experience with LGBTQ+ clients and the types of life and estate planning issues you and your loved ones need to address.

What Documents Do I Need?

A basic life and estate plan consists of the following key documents:

  • Will or revocable living trust
  • Up-to-date beneficiary designations for all retirement plans, life insurance policies and annuities
  • Up-to-date titles for property
  • Durable power of attorney for finances/asset management
  • Advance healthcare directive (living will and healthcare power of attorney)
  • HIPAA authorization

Other Important Documents

There may be other documents that should be included in your life and estate plan. Here are some examples; your lawyer may suggest others:

  • Funeral directive
  • Revocable living trust
  • Life insurance trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Co-habitation or domestic partnership agreement
  • Pre- or postnuptial agreement
  • Joint custody agreement
  • Sperm or egg donor agreement
  • Surrogacy agreement

For more detailed information about life and estate planning for LGBTQ+ people, request our complimentary planning publications.

Creating Your Legacy of Equality

HRC and the HRC Foundation are two separate but affiliated organizations. Because of HRC’s grassroots lobbying and political work, gifts to HRC are not tax-deductible. Gifts to the HRC Foundation are fully tax-deductible based on the Foundation’s entirely non-political, educational, and outreach mission.

When you’re deciding how to leave a legacy for equality, the tax consequences of a particular gift may be a consideration. If the tax consequences of your gift are not a consideration for you, a gift to HRC will give us the greatest flexibility in putting your gift to work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Either way, your gift will be invested in the shared mission of a future of equal rights for all people.

Complimentary planning resources are just a click away!

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Sample Gift Language

Sample Beneficiary Designation

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Need assistance? I'm here to help!

R. Sylvester Owens

Director of Estate Planning
Phone: 202-572-8918

1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-3212

The content found on this site is general in nature and intended to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be relied upon as legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice. To determine how a gift or estate planning decision might affect your particular circumstances, it is expressly recommended that you consult an attorney, financial advisor or other qualified professional.