Activism and Politics > Politics

Legal question about wills & such.

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--- Quote from: Cindianna_Jones on September 15, 2006, 10:42:51 pm ---
Hey... this should go in the wiki.  There is nothing there about wills!

--- End quote ---

Yep... Noted Cindi



--- Quote from: Cindianna_Jones on September 15, 2006, 10:42:51 pm ---Hey... this should go in the wiki.  There is nothing there about wills!

--- End quote ---

Great idea Cindi, lets see what we can come up with.


Dennis, this would be a topic that would benefit greatly from your input I consider.

I am assuming that the legal situation is the same in the US as in Australia,  that you can purchase "do it yourself" will kits,  have the completed will properly witnessed and thats it.

However the situation referred to re Brandi's friend is more sinister - how could you prevent that happening?


The executor is the one who has control over the memorial, so with Brandi's friend, if there had been a different executor, the problem would have been avoided. You should specify that in your will.

You'd need to check your local requirements, but a will does not have to be drafted or witnessed by a lawyer in many jurisdictions, including the one I live in. If you do get a form for a will, make sure it is specific to your jurisdiction. I'd check bookstores before looking online, just because they're more likely to actually be valid where you live.


This is STILL one of the big issues for TS.  I will tell you as a lawyer that there is no real easy way to navigate it.  Every state is very differant.  Some states have decisions that go completely against transsexuals and other states have more liberal precident.  This is why it is very important that you are actively aware of the laws in the state you are in or move too if you are transitioning.  In some cases the family can take precidence over a will (basically discard it) if you are a TS and completely cut off your partner and your friends, be it you are a post-op or pre-op.  The laws are highly discriminatory in most states.

That is why I suggest many TS to move to queer friendly states and cities.  Estate issues are probably one of the biggest legal hurdles that TS people face. 

This is very state by state but here is a short breakdown of states I know have TS friendly legislation regarding estates:

New York

Unfriendly states
(every southern state essentially) 

Also the US is VERY differant with regards to drafting wills.  Unlike Canada and Australia those do it yourself kits do not exist.  US legal language and rules are very complex and archiac with regards to wills (it is basically old british common law).  An attorney is not required, but almost every state requires a will signed by two witnesses (who sometimes have to be in the room at the same time as your signing).  I will also tell you that if you are transsexual, it is absolutely essential that you seek an attorneys help, just so you do not run into any contenscious issues.  You should probably do this before any medical proceedures just to be on the safe side.  Even in "red" states an attorney can effectively cut your family out of the decision making process if you have a properly drafted will.  (But I still advocate not living in those states if you are TS.)  US estate law is complex and for the most part the more complex your situation is, the more likely you will need an attorney, and being TS is an inherantly complex situation. 

Also drafting wills are one of the few things lawyers tend to have "flat" rates for.  They may be complex for an average person to draft, but for an attorney it is relitively simple.  It is one of those things you can shop around for with regards to attorneys. 


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