Klenk Law

Pennsylvania LGBT Estate Planning to Preserve Benefits

Posted on Fri Sep 25, 2015, on LGBT Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Pennsylvania LGBT Estate Planning to Preserve Benefits

Most Recently Updated July 21, 2018.

“My partner and I have been together for over 25 years. Marriage would be nice, but I have the most money and his family has a history of long life. I worry that if I die and I give him everything, he may outlive those funds.”


Pennsylvania LGBT Estate Planning to Preserve Benefits

Pennsylvania LGBT Estate Planning to Preserve Benefits

“Veteran” lesbian and gay couples cannot be blamed for hesitating to tie the knot. After years of planning for retirement as two single people, getting married late in life can throw a curveball into the financial and estate planning game. Getting married changes your tax status and eligibility for various government benefits. So, like any other huge life decision, marriage should be examined with an eye for retirement and asset protection efficiencies.

What Are Some Options?

In your case, if your partner lives long enough to use up his savings, he might be eligible for needs-based government programs. But if he is married to you, your assets might disqualify him. Further, if you were to die and leave assets to him, then those assets would have to be used prior to qualifying for the needs based programs.

One possible answer is that you remain partners, or have a commitment ceremony rather than legally tying the knot. This way we could draft an estate plan for you leaving your assets in a protective trust for your partner that would shelter the assets, but still allow your partner to qualify for government programs. He would have the best of both worlds: government benefits that he has earned by working his whole life and sheltered assets to provide him the extras that the programs do not provide.

How Can We Help?

The best option is to have us review your assets as well as getting input from a good Wealth Advisor and Accountant. By brainstorming the options you can then make decision based on a good understanding the financial ramifications of marriage on your given situation.

More Planning Questions?

Preparing for the future of your partner is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Pennsylvania LGBT Estate Planning to Preserve Benefits

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining options for financial planning. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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