Same-sex couples have unique estate planning needs and no one understands them better than the LGBT-friendly attorneys at Blustein, Shapiro, Frank & Barone, LLP.
Everyone, regardless of relationship status and where they reside, should have an estate plan. However, estate planning for same-sex couples is unique and the laws can be confusing; let us help you sort them out.
Some factors for you and your partner to consider include:
Are you married? Do you plan to be?
Do you co-own property?
Do you have children?
Do you want to leave a legacy?
Do you want to provide for others in your life, in addition to your partner?
Do you want to preclude strife in settling an estate after one of you passes?
Do you have an existing estate plan that doesn’t allow you to take advantage of post-DOMA benefits?
Do either (or both) of you want the other to manage affairs and make health care decisions in the event of permanent disability?
Same-Sex Estate Planning After DOMA
The rules for same-sex estate planning are changing quickly. Since the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional, more than 1,000 federal benefits became available to same-sex married couples residing in New York, bringing them onto the same playing field as opposite-sex couples.
Now that the landscape has changed dramatically, the following federal financial benefits may apply to same-sex married couples:
- More favorable income tax rules; same-sex married couples can now amend past returns!
- Less restriction on retirement accounts.
- Lower taxes on death transfers to a spouse.
- More options to protect assets from long term care costs.
All same-sex couples should consider proactive estate planning, no matter where they reside. Committed same-sex couples living in New York should consider whether marriage is a wise option for them, and couples with an estate plan already in place should review it with an attorney.