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A Tad Less Traditional

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The credentials following Joshua Hatfield Charles’ name (CFP, ChFC, CLU, ADPA, CEP, CLTC) include the acronym for Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor, testifying to the Rockville, Maryland, planner’s focus on serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

In discussing how differences in state law make financial planning more difficult, Hatfield Charles told us about an episode about 10 years ago when two women came into his office. (“Let’s call them Millie and May,” he said.) In the course of gathering information, he determined that they had been filing joint tax returns for nearly 20 years.

Since the federal Defense of Marriage Act had not yet been repealed, Hatfield Charles had to point out tactfully that the couple’s joint returns were not legal and would have to be amended. “With a smile, Millie put her hand on top of mine,” he said, “and told me that when they originally got together, her name was Fred and they were a heterosexual couple.”