Unmarried couples, whether in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships, face many estate planning problems (and opportunities). While unmarried couples face challenges that married couples do not, the majority of these challenges can be avoided with proper preparation. Since many of the topics mentioned in this article are state-specific, unmarried couples planning an estate plan should seek the advice of an attorney familiar with the laws of their domicile states. Have a look at Kailua-Kona Financial Advisor Association for more info on this.
The estate planning goals of unmarried couples (whether same-sex or opposite sex) are the same as those of married couples. They want to prevent probate’s expenses, delays, and publicity; remove or reduce estate taxes; ensure that their assets transfer to whoever they want, when they want, and how they want; and secure heir assets from their heirs’ inabilities, illnesses, creditors, and predators.
Unmarried partners are not entitled to many of the legal presumptions and default protections afforded to married couples under state and federal law. Unmarried couples, for example, are not eligible for the federal unlimited estate and gift tax marital deductions; they cannot use the tax-free “rollover” of retirement benefits in the same way as a surviving spouse; they are not covered by most state intestacy laws, which determine who receives a decedent’s property if there is no Will; and they are not permitted, by most state laws, to elect against a p.
Under the constitution, same-sex partners have made progress in receiving the same benefits as married couples. Marriages for same-sex couples are legal and currently practised in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C. Civil unions are legal in New Jersey, and they offer same-sex couples state-level spousal rights. Domestic partnerships are legal in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington (state), and they give unmarried couples virtually all state-level spousal rights. Domestic partnerships are legal in Hawaii, Maine, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin, but they only give unmarried spouses certain state-level spousal rights. Same-sex marriages from other states or countries are recognised in New York, Rhode Island, and Maryland, but they are not performed. Despite this, 41 states have laws banning same-sex marriage, including 30 states with statutory prohibitions.