The College for Financial Planning announced Nov. 9 that it was offering a designation for advisors to assist unmarried heterosexual and same-sex couples with their financial planning needs. The college says the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor (ADPA) program is the first in the country designed to prepare financial advisors to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples, as well as couples living in what it calls “other nontraditional arrangements.”
“We had a corporate client come to us and requested we develop this course for its employees,” says Gregg Parish, a professor of estate planning at the college who developed the ADPA curriculum. “The rights initially were exclusively theirs, but they have now reverted back to us to use publicly. It’s timely, because we see a growing unmarried senior population beginning to emerge as life spans increase.”
The ADPA core curriculum, which Parish calls a module, is split into four parts. The first, wealth transfer, deals with issues like the lack of the marital transfer deduction available from the federal government, which means unmarried couples will use transfer tax deductions quicker than married couples. The second part, tax issues, involves estate, gift and generation-skipping strategies.
“Surprisingly, not being married has benefits in this area, purely for financial reasons,” Parish says. “You’ve heard of the marriage penalty? It doesn’t exist in this instance.”
The third part deals with retirement planning and relationship issues.