The Gage Law Firm

Gay and Lesbian Legal Assistance

Atlanta's Lawyer for the LGBT Community

The Gage Law Firm is gay-owned and operated and is a proud and vocal supporter of Atlanta's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community. We take special efforts, with our partners, to give supportive and unique legal advice to our LGBT clients.  The Gage Law Firm has a special understanding of the specific needs of our gay community and the ignorance with which it is often met in our legal system.

We are a member of the Stonewall Bar Association, a group of Georgia lawyers committed to advancing the special needs of the gay community and in advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clients. The Stonewall Bar Association has a proud and distinguished history of success in advancing gay causes in Georgia, and The Gage Law Firm is proud to be a part of its essential work.

The Gage Law Firm is keenly aware of the biases that are inherent in many of Georgia's judicial systems as it pertains to the lesbian and gay community. These prejudices are particularly notable in cases in which gay and lesbian partnerships are involved. Georgia, like many other jurisdictions, has only gotten more stringent, recently enacting legislation that is hostile toward gay and lesbian individuals and relationships.  Our firm has a long history of representing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients and will give you the understanding you expect from a lawyer handling these important matters.

We can provide unique advocacy in a variety of legal areas, including:

Wills and Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples and Gay Families

If you are in a same-sex relationship, it is critical that you plan for your passing.  Georgia's laws of intestacy are a part of the same body of law that freely discriminates against gays and lesbians and their families.  Thus, your relationship (or marriage, if you were legally married in another state) is no more than an acquaintance in the eyes of Georgia courts under present law.  If you die without a will, your assets will NOT pass to your spouse or partner under Georgia law, period.

Thankfully, Georgia respects the intent of the testator when he or she has drafted a will in most instances, regardless of your sexual orientation.  So, if you indicate in your will that you wish your assets to go to your spouse, they will, absent a meritorious legal challenge.  You can pick whomever you want to leave property, and in almost every case you can exclude individuals from receiving your assets, as well.

Complications often arise concerning children and guardianship after you pass.  The Gage Law Firm can thoroughly discuss the options, and potential pitfalls, regarding your children's fate after your death. This is of particular importance in cases where one or both spouses have children from a prior marriage, and in cases where one partner has adopted a child but the other has not.  While a testamentary guardian can be nominated in a will, Georgia law overrides some of these nominations under specific circumstances.  You should know yours, so that you have a clear understanding of how securely you can protect your child's future upon your passing and if there is anything you might want to do beforehand to make your plan stronger.

While the Obama administration directed that new rules be created to protect the rights of gay and lesbian spouses in a hospital setting, we at The Gage Law Firm feel it is important to spell out your wishes, and the new law, as clearly as possible to avoid any costly delay.  Our Estate Planning Packages for gay and lesbian families include healthcare directives, durable powers of attorney, and appointments of agent for each partner to ensure that your affairs can be tended to by your loved one in the event you are unable to do so.

We assist our clients in the following areas:

  • Wills

  • Codicils (Will Revisions)

  • Living Wills

  • Healthcare Directives (Pursuant to the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare)

  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Finances

  • Various Trusts

At The Gage Law Firm, we recommend discussing a complete estate plan for you, your partner, and your family.  Our LGBT Estate Planning Package provides for both partner's needs and includes (1) a full consultation, (2) drafting of wills for both you and your partner, (3) drafting of healthcare directives and living will, (4) drafting of powers of attorney to ensure that your partner can tend to your finances and other matters in the event you are incapacitated, and (5) and, in some cases, appointment of agent to defend against discriminatory hospital practices.  In most cases, a full estate plan can be completed within 2-3 weeks of the initial consultation and, in some cases, faster.

Visit our Wills and Estate Planning page, or contact us today to learn how we can protect your loved ones and give you peace of mind!

Criminal Cases

Many underestimate the value of having a gay or lesbian attorney advocate for you after arrest. Because honesty and candor are central to a strong attorney-client relationship, its important to have an attorney with whom you can be open, without fear of being judged.  Circumstances surrounding an arrest may pertain specifically with your identity as gay, lesbian or transgender, and the ability to discuss these issues openly not only gives you less anxiety, but their revelation may lead to positive outcomes in your case.

Whether you are being charged with domestic violence, drug possesion, DUI, or other felony and misdemeanor offenses, rest assured that you will be free from judgment and have an advocate who will fiercely confront any judicial discrimination head-on.  Derek takes this issue personally because he has lived it!

The Gage Law Firm appreciates the needs of all of our clients, and as a gay, lesbian or transgender member of our community, you can be sure that you will be treated with respect, not ignorance.  Give us a call and experience the special way we take care of our LGBT clients.

For more resources available to Atlanta's gay community, visit the non-affiliated site, Georgia Equality.

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