Same-Sex Marriage

While same-sex marriages are now recognized nationwide, same-sex couples continue to face unique legal challenges. Seemingly simple matters, like estate planning, are more complicated for LGBTQ couples. In addition, the consequences can be more serious if they are not handled correctly.

Our firm, Lavin & Parisi, Attorneys at Law, has 35 years of legal experience. We use that experience to help same-sex couples protect their rights. The Supreme Court may have come down on the side of recognizing same-sex marriage, but enforcing protections often still falls to the individuals themselves.

Estate Planning For Same-Sex Couples

Despite the new federally protected status of those unions, estate planning for same-sex couples can still be challenging. We encourage same-sex couples to talk to us about estate planning issues related to:

  • Powers of attorney. A power of attorney can allow your partner to make important health care or financial decisions on your behalf.
  • Property planning documents. Property does not necessarily automatically transfer to your partner if you pass away. We will draft the documents you need to make sure that your loved one will be able to keep the home and other property that you want your partner to have.
  • Wills and trusts. A will or a trust is paramount for couples with children, but even more so with same-sex couples. For couples with children, having wishes laid out legally beforehand eliminates any potential disputes when designating guardianship.


Whether you adopt through an agency or from a private party, you will need an attorney to guide you through the process. If one of the parties of the same-sex couple is the birth parent, even though Illinois recognizes the partner as the second parent, other states may not. Therefore, we still recommend that the nonbiological parent bring the adoption petition with the court so that you have legal rights to your child should anything happen to the birth parent.

Put Experience On Your Side

Many family lawyers do not know the issues facing same-sex couples. This is an ever-changing area of law, and as the state and federal courts continue to address same-sex marriage and civil unions, it will continue to evolve and change. You need to be represented by someone who is keeping up with those changes and can best guide you through the ever-changing legal landscape. Call 815-261-4894 or contact our firm online to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.