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Caring For Generations

Estate planning considerations for same-sex couples

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2019 | Estate Planning

In the years since same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the United States, numerous gay and lesbian couples in Indiana have tied the knot. This ability to enjoy a marriage has transformed many people’s lives. While the ability to get married is the same for gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples, estate planning can be quite different for same-sex couples.

One of the big issues that same-sex couples will need to address when thinking about their estate planning needs is any children they have. These may be children they have together either via adoption or other methods, or they may be children that one spouse brought into the marriage from a prior relationship. NerdWallet explains that the legal parentage of the children may be integral to how an estate plan is created and executed. It may be important for one spouse to legally adopt the child of the other spouse based on how the plan evolves.

Guardianships are another area that require careful attention when making estate plans in a same-sex marriage. Spouses should review their choices and consider not only relatives but others who they feel may provide their children with the best upbringing should something happen to them prematurely.

According to Fidelity Investments, same-sex couples should look beyond only wills and trusts when making their estate plans. Beneficiary designations on things like 401K accounts and life insurance policies should be reviewed and updated as their lives change. Assets such as vehicles, homes, vacation homes and other things should be titled in a way that matches their long-term plans for their families.