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Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples Has Changed - Have You Updated Your Plan Yet?

 Posted on November 15, 2016 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyersAlthough same-sex marriage is now legal on a national level, few couples have thought to come forward and update their estate plan. Unfortunately, this can be problematic. It can also lead to a significant loss of funds upon a party's death. Learn more about how an updated estate plan can benefit you and your partner, and why it is so important.

How Estate Planning Has Changed or Same-Sex Couples

Prior to 2015, same-sex couples who were not in a state that legally recognized their marriage had to find inventive ways to ensure their partner received benefits upon their death. Many had to take out insurance policies that were much higher than heterosexual couples because there needed to be enough to pay for estate taxes. This has now changed.

Same-sex couples now receive the same tax and gift deductions as all other couples, which means you may be able to reduce the amount of your current life insurance policy. Further, it gives you the opportunity to free up other liquidity in your financial plan. Same-sex couples should also check with their employer to see about adding their spouse to their life insurance policy; this option, which was not often available prior to 2015, can also save you money.

Same-Sex Couples May Still Have Unique Estate Planning Challenges

While, in many ways, estate planning for same-sex couples has become less complex, there may still be some unique challenges. For example, if one spouse has legal guardianship of a child brought into the marriage, but the other spouse does not, this could present some unique issues that need to be addressed in the estate plan. Guardianship may need to be clearly outlined to ensure the other parent receives guardianship in the event of the other parent's death.

Updating or Preparing Your Estate Plan

If you have an estate plan that was created prior to 2015, speak to an attorney about updating yours. If you have not created one yet, now is the time to do it. Also, please note that do-it-yourself options are always discouraged since they do not always address the unique issues that same-sex couples face. Make sure yours is done with the best interest of you and your partner in mind. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney for help with your will or trust.

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we provide personalized estate planning to fit your needs. Dedicated and experienced, we can devise a creative plan to protect the interests of you, your spouse, and any children you may have. Schedule your consultation with our DuPage County estate planning lawyers to learn more. Call us at 630-665-2500 today.


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