Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Complexities Surrounding Estate Planning For Same-Sex Couples

Gay marriage

Estate planning within the LGBT community can be a complex maze for financial advisors.  Because not all states have the same rules, and regulations vary from on federal agency to another, financial planning becomes complicated. 

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage; eleven states had bans on same-sex marriage struck down by courts.  Some states recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships, while other states do not recognize any legal rights for same-sex couples.  “This is a minefield for financial advisors . . . As an advisor, you have to be clear what the status of your client is and what the state laws are that apply.” 

States that do not allow same-sex marriage are not forced to recognize marriages that are valid in another state.  Still, some federal agencies recognize the laws of the state where the couple lives, where others recognize the laws of the state where the marriage was registered.  Thus, planners should tell couples to keep financial records and ask whether they have a marriage certificate or civil union.

See Karen Demasters, Estate Planning For Same-Sex Couples A Complex Maze, Experts Say, Financial Advisor, June 10, 2014.


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