What You Need to Know
- Advisors should familiarize their LGBTQ+ clients with the financial protections designated to spouses, including those regarding inheritance laws and Social Security benefits.
- Same-sex couples who are not legally married should establish a legally secure estate plan with specific directives.
- LGBTQ+ families should make decisions regarding living wills, power of attorney, trusts, and guardianship of minor children.
Thoughtful estate planning is a must for every client’s financial plan, and it is extremely critical for same-sex couples and families. As June, Pride Month, has just ended, it’s a good time to have an estate planning check-in with your clients in the LGBTQ+ community.
Legal Marriage Benefits
Of course, as a result of the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, married LGBTQ+ couples today can benefit from estate planning strategies that they were once excluded from. There are many financial protections that are designated to spouses in a legal marriage, including those regarding inheritance laws and Social Security benefits. Walk your clients through the rules and laws specific to their situations and where they live.
The legislation also made it possible for LGBTQ+ spouses to better plan for and protect their interests and wishes after they are gone, especially in the event that one of them dies unexpectedly. This is another reason why proper estate planning is so critical. Now is a good time to remind clients that nothing should be left to chance in the event either spouse suffers an unexpected medical incident or tragedy.