Gay, lesbian and transgender people confront a unique problem set:

The non-birth mother in a lesbian couple risks the loss of the child she has parented.

Arizona does not allow a same sex couple to adopt, so careful provisions must be made by LGBT couples parenting children.

When one member of a same sex couple dies, the family of the deceased partner sometimes takes control of the body and sometimes bars attendance of the partner at the funeral.

When one member of a same sex couple dies, the family of the deceased partner sometimes bullies its way into the home and seizes personal property of the decedent.

When one member of a same sex couple gets sick, it should be made clear who can make medical and lifestyle decisions for that person.

When one member of a same sex couple gets sick, it should be made clear who can make financial decisions for that person.

Because powers of attorney are sometimes ineffective, same sex couples should seriously consider trusts in order to attain their objectives.

Though same sex marriage in certain states is permitted, that right is not necessarily portable. This means that if a member of a same sex couple (married legally in one state) dies in a state that does not recognize same sex marriage, without a will, the laws of inheritance may disinherit the partner. A will or trust can fix this problem.

When opposite sex couples marry, and one of the spouses needs long term care assistance from the state, the other spouse (community spouse) benefits from the ability to receive transfers of property. The spouse who will stay in the community can usually retain a large amount of funds while the spouse needing long term care funds still qualifies for Medicaid (ALTCS). Those financial protections are not built into law for same sex couples.

Careful planning with a knowledgeable attorney can find solutions to these problems.