Schedule A Consultation Today 425-333-2358

Helping You Plan Your Future And Solve Your Problems

View Our Practice Areas

Do not rely on Washington law for same-sex estate planning

As Kent readers may know from previous discussions, estate planning for same-sex couples in Washington requires considerations above and beyond those necessary to effectuate the wishes of opposite-sex couples. The suggestion that everyone consider implementing a simple and effective estate plan regardless of wealth holds even more truth for same-sex partners. Fortunately, even though state law does not afford same-sex partners the same default benefits that it grants to opposite-sex couples, an experienced estate planning professional can help with a few easy steps that can go a long way toward ensuring the well being of same-sex families.

One of the first steps that partners in a same-sex relationship should take is to execute a will. Without a will, each partner's probate assets will pass in accordance with state law to the closest legal heirs, starting with children and then proceeding to parents, siblings or more distant relatives.

Same-sex partners should also be certain to execute valid, legally sound powers of attorney. Powers of attorney make it possible for a surviving partner to take care of important financial matters after a loved one's death. Powers of attorney also play a critical role in making sure that partners can access each others' medical documents and not be excluded from hospital visitations.

Tax and property title issues also become more complicated for same-sex couples. A professional review of property titles and financial instruments, such as retirement accounts, can help make certain that valuable assets pass to the surviving partner and are not distributed according to default rules.

More and more financial advisors are seeking out specialized training to help same-sex couples develop investment portfolios that take into account the disparities in state and federal law. Ultimately, though, only a thoughtfully prepared comprehensive estate plan can ensure that hard-earned assets end up in the hands of a loved one rather than on the desk of a probate court judge.

Source: AOL Daily Finance, "Financial Planning for Same-Sex Couples: 5 Tips You Can't Afford to Ignore," Nov. 9, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Make Your Consultation Appointment

To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us

Kent Office
8407 S. 259th Street
Suite 203
Kent, WA 98030

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 253-852-0400
Kent Law Office Map

Kent Office

Spokane Office
505 W. Riverside Avenue
Suite 500
Spokane, WA 99201

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 509-769-0202
Map & Directions

Spokane Office