Estate Planning Advice For LGBT Couples

By Holly Hanson, Next Avenue Contributor ( The following is adapted from The LGBT & Modern Family Money Manual. ) No matter what your familial configuration or marital status, estate planning is something every person needs to address. But the rules are complicated, and changing, for LGBT couples . And if you’re an LGBT couple operating without the legal protections and advantages afforded by marriage, a few key documents are especially important. Here are the basics, first for legally-married LGBT couples and then for LGBT couples in states that don’t recognize their unions:

The Marital Deduction

Before the fall of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and states coming on board legalizing same-sex marriage, a same-sex couple would be treated as two single people for tax purposes. Now, same-sex married people can pass an unlimited amount of assets — either in life or death — to their spouses without paying federal or gift tax. […]