One area that is crucial for any couple is estate planning. As a same-sex couple, you may wonder if there is anything, in particular, you need to be aware of when creating your estate plan.
In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that all states must allow same-sex marriages and give those involved the same rights as any married couple. So, if you are a married same-sex couple, you do not need to consider anything different from any other married couple.
What about if you are not married?
If you are an unmarried couple, you need to take more care when creating your estate plan than a married couple would. Yet, there is no difference between unmarried same-sex couples and unmarried couples of different sexes. Here are some of the issues that all unmarried couples need to consider:
- Making a will is essential. Under California law, if you die without a will, there are no legal provisions for unmarried partners. A court will follow state intestate laws to split your estate between children and parents if you do not have a spouse. You need to make a will or use alternative estate planning tools if you wish to leave assets to an unmarried partner.
- Tax laws differ when married: The IRS gives some preferences to married couples. For example, they can combine two gift allowance of federal estate tax exemptions to increase the amount of money they give away tax free.
Estate planning is subject to many factors, so understanding them all is vital. A well-made estate plan is the best way to protect your loved ones, irrespective of who they are.