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.
Readers in the Seattle area may be interested to learn that issues connected to estate administration lie at the heart of a federal appeals court ruling that strikes yet another blow against the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The court concluded that the section of the law that denies recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes violated constitutional equal protection guarantees by requiring a same-sex spouse to pay an inheritance tax, for which a heterosexual spouse would enjoy an exemption.