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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Jan 10, 2017

#KGNU 's Claudia Cragg (@KGNUClaudia) speaks here with Elizabeth F Schwarz (@SchwartzOutLaw) about her new book, Before I Do. 

Elizabeth Schwartz has been practicing law since 1997 and is a nationally recognized advocate for the legal rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. She is the author of Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise (The New Press, 2016), and her Miami-based law practice focuses on estate planning, probate, family formation (adoption, insemination, and surrogacy) and dissolution.

In her book, she raises the issues that not long ago, same-sex couples had to jump through endless hoops to make their relationships even close to legal. For the most part, those days are over. Same-sex couples no longer have to operate as outlaws--they too can have in-laws! But here's the rub: many gay and lesbian couples, accustomed to living off-grid, are so thrilled to have the benefits of marriage that they gleefully jump into marriage without fully understanding the consequences.

Here she spells out the range of practical considerations couples should address before tying the knot especially in the face of the incoming Presidential administration. She explores the rights marriage provides and those it does not. With cameos from some of the most prominent LGBT professionals, Schwartz explains all of the implications of marriage from name changes and getting a license to taxes, insurance, Social Security, and much more.

Substantial chapters on estate planning, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and organizing finances make Before I Do relevant for all couples, young and older, and a crucial handbook for anyone considering marriage--because, as Schwartz explains, just because you can get married does not mean you should.