Essential estate-planning for same-sex couples

Piggy Bank BY JULIE MEHTA
LearnVest

While estate planning is important for all couples, it is essential for same-sex couples (or for couples who decide not to marry), because they do not have many rights married couples take for granted, even if their state allows them to marry. “Federal law trumps state law,” Miami-based financial planner Cathy Pareto tells LearnVest. “And in the eyes of federal law, if you’re a same-sex couple, you are not related—you are basically strangers.” 

Of course end-of-life planning can be daunting enough as it is. And the wide variance in the way states recognize gay couples and ongoing court challenges to the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) make same-sex couple estate planning especially complex. But we’ll walk you through the best ways to help protect the life you build together.

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