Financial guidance tailored to LGBT partners & individuals
We have an established history of providing specialized financial guidance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples and individuals. We have not only helped clients, but have also provided support to LGBT organizations and served on the boards of nonprofits throughout the years. We are passionate about working with LGBT clients and can help you address factors unique to the LGBT community.
Before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, same-sex couples had to have workaround plans to accommodate their situation. Leaving these plans as is could create legal complications or unintended consequences.
For instance, a surviving partner could not vouch for a deceased partner whose estate was contested without previous specific legal authorization. Now, LGBT spouses are considered automatic heirs when no other estate plan was created.
We can communicate with your attorney to confirm that your legal documents are up to date, such as a will or living trust, durable powers of attorney for healthcare and finances, and parental rights agreements.
Clarify how you’ll handle your finances
Partners must decide whether to handle finances separately or as a couple. A discussion of your financial goals and values is a good foundation for making this important decision. If you decide to handle finances as a couple, does this include long-range retirement planning or just short-term financial matters, such as managing household finances? Clarifying this can ease financial decisions about managing expenses, creating a budget, opening joint accounts, and saving and investing for the future.
Understand your employer benefits
Many employers now offer health insurance and other domestic partner benefits to the partners of employees. Before you enroll your partner, be aware that the value of the benefits your employer offers to your partner is generally taxable (unless your partner qualifies as your dependent for federal income tax purposes). It will show up as income on your pay stub and W-2 form. This additional tax on the domestic partner coverage may prompt you to select your own employer’s separate plan, if available.
Have a strong retirement and estate plan
For estate planning, married couples have the benefit of inheriting the assets of the spouse, free of estate tax. Since partners living together lack this tax shelter, there may be a greater need for life insurance to protect surviving loved ones. Everyone needs a financial plan that will allow him or her to educate children, live in retirement, and pay for medical expenses.
Remember long-term care insurance
Long-term care insurance can be a key component that provides protection for loved ones. Most companies that provide it will offer partners living together for at least three years the same discount whether they are married or not.
Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as financial advisors of Raymond James, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters.