A decade ago, same sex couples raising children were rare. It would have been stupid for an attorney back then to focus on same sex estate planning: there was no demand.

How times have changed. 

An article by ABC News explains what is being called the “gayby boom”:

Just under one percent of all couples in the U.S. — or 594,391 people — identify themselves as gay, lesbian or transgender, and about 20 percent of them are raising children under the age of 18.

Not only has the number of gay families increased, but so has legal recognition of their relationships. This new recognition means that more gay couples will need tailored legal advice.

For example, an article in the Wisconsin Law Journal discussed the new opportunities for lawyers created by the recently enacted Wisconsin domestic partnership law:

[T]he addition of Ch. 770 in the Wisconsin Statutes may be encouraging more same-sex couples to explore their options when it comes to estate planning. . . [A]s more couples register, they will evaluate whether to change their estate planning documents, wills and trusts to incorporate the benefits of the law.

Attorneys should not wait for national legal recognition before marketing to gay couples. Not only are various cities and states passing their own domestic partnership laws, but the complexity from having so many different laws in various jurisdictions only increases the need for creative services that attorneys can provide.

Gideon Alper

Gideon Alper