From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “What are the Estate Planning Advantages for LGBTQ Marriage?”
“My partner and I are thinking about marriage. But, I keep hearing that there are tax and estate planning problems caused by marriage. You are an estate planning lawyer, can you tell me the estate planning advantages for LGBTQ marriage?”
Estate Planning Advantages for LGBTQ Marriage.
Strategic Estate Planning Advantages for LGBTQ Marriage.
Marriage is about love, but it also an economic arrangement. Enter any business deal and every wedding with your eyes open.
While weddings do cost money, the legal status of marriage does bring certain economic advantages.
Tenants by the Entireties
In some states, such as Pennsylvania and Florida, married people can hold real estate and other assets as “Tenants by the Entireties.” This ownership provides a layer of free asset protection unavailable to non-married people. If you own your house as Tenants by the Entireties with your spouse and your spouse goes bankrupt or is sued, remove your spouse’s name from the deed. This technique avoids the creditors’ claims. The only ownerships available to non-married people are Joint and Tenants-in-Common, which do not provide the same asset protection.
Only married people can use the Disclaimer Trust estate planning technique. This smart estate planning tool allows the surviving spouse to decide to take assets into her name or, to shelter them in a trust. For more information, follow the link to my article, Disclaimer Trusts: Everything You Need to Know.
Prenuptial Agreements might sound like a negative, but experience has taught me that communication about finances is a good thing. While you might put off talk for decades about finances while living together, marriage gives you the chance to make a plan. You enter a Prenuptial Agreement so that if your marriage ends that process can be as painless and inexpensive as possible. But, you also agree to map out how to pay for each other in your old age. Further, if the house is in one person’s name what happens to that house should the owner die first? While it might be hard to start the conversation, you will be happy in the end having addressed difficult issues.
Avoiding The Inheritance and Estate Taxes.
Any list of Estate Planning Advantages for LGBTQ Marriage will include avoiding Estate and Inheritance Taxes. If your estate is large enough, marriage avoids the 40% Federal Estate Tax. Further, marriage also voids the 15% Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax for unmarried partners. Your wedding can provide a massive tax reduction.
Qualifying for Presumptions.
Many legal presumptions favor spouses. Meanwhile, none prefer unmarried couples. For example, making medical decisions or burial decisions. If you are not married, you have no legal presumption or say. But, a presumption exists in favor of the spouse.
In conclusion, this post is attempted to explain some of the Strategic Estate Planning Advantages for LGBTQ Marriage. Feel free to contact an experienced Estate Planning Lawyer at our firm for more information.
Furthermore, I would be happy to answer your questions. If you have any other matters for an Estate Planning Lawyer, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. We try to make the process as painless as possible!
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!
Author Philadelphia Estate Planning Attorney Peter Klenk, Esq., Licensed in PA, NJ, MN, FL, and NY.
Throughout our website, klenklaw.com, you may find more information about Estate Planning including Prenuptial Agreements. Also, our firm focuses exclusively in the area of estate planning, probate, and the litigation surrounding estate planning and probate. This includes Will Contests and Will Challenges. Therefore, if you need assistance with any estate related matter call one of our Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers for a free consultation.