Press Releases

ACTEC Releases Video Advising on Transgender Vital Records Changes


Contact: Pamela Goldsmith

Washington, DC – January 11, 2021: The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) released today its video on the importance of updating vital records for those who identify as LGBTQ, Transgender? How to Legally Change Your Name, Gender and Vital Records. This is the second video in its monthly informational series – Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Futurea project of ACTEC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Committee, funded by The ACTEC Foundation. 

ACTEC Fellows recognized an essential need in the LGBTQ community for information and resources relating to the implementation of record changes for transgender and non-binary individuals. Due to significant variances in state and local practices and the relatively small number of practitioners and social service organizations that are knowledgeable about these services, the transgender and non-binary communities are markedly under-resourced with regard to fundamental services for name change, gender-marker change and changes to state and federal identity documents. The video introduces basic concepts estate planners should consider regarding transgender clients or beneficiaries and examines the attorney-client relationship.

ACTEC Fellows Cynthia Lamar-Hart and Paula Kohut discuss the importance of revising records for transgender individuals and addressing unique challenges that LGBTQ people deal with in connection to estate planning for themselves and their families. In addition to discussing the fundamentals of what records can be updated and generally how to take those steps, Cynthia and Paula address the far-reaching impact of these services.

“It’s imperative that trans individuals have identity documents that match their name and identified gender, not only for financial security, but for safety as well,” said Lamar-Hart. “After a decade of working with transgender and non-binary clients to assist with updating their vital records, I am pleased to have this opportunity to join Paula in sharing with a broader audience the importance of providing legal services relating to vital records changes to the trans community, as well as to address distinctive estate planning issues relative to transgender clients and clients with transgender beneficiaries.”

For further information about the Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity series, please visit How to Legally Change Your Name, Gender and Vital Records can also be shared via YouTube

About The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.

About The ACTEC Foundation:  The ACTEC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel or ACTEC. The Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that offers education to families and professionals and supports students interested in the trust and estate area of the law. Through continued financial support, The ACTEC Foundation offers professional development, scholarships and education for a number of important efforts, including legal education, educational support, public initiatives, legal publications and the student editorial board.

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