Practice Areas

Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

The legal landscape concerning same sex relationships is constantly changing. Most recently New York State passed the New York Marriage Equality Act which says same sex couples can get married.

It is important to have creative estate planning tools that protect both parties, their loved ones, and their future. There are many tax and planning pitfalls that can be avoided with proper planning from a lawyer who is well versed in the unique issues facing LGBT clients.

Despite the frequently changing laws regarding marriage at the state level, the Federal Defense of Marriage Act still denies over 1300 benefits to same sex couples, simply because of who they love. There are many legal techniques available to minimize the impact of this legislation.

It is also very important to plan for health care decision making and one's estate. Health care providers are frequently not familiar with the legal rights of partners to make decisions regarding health care, and without proper enhanced documentation they may deny rights to same sex partners. Also, litigation during probate is a common problem when an individual leaves their estate to someone of the same sex, no matter how long or loving the relationship was. The use of trusts and careful estate planning can avoid these pitfalls and ensure that the estate passes as intended, and loved ones are provided for.

Contact us for more information on same sex family law.