The landscape of estate and trust planning for unmarried couples – whether of the same or opposite sex – and same-sex couples has been remade after the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Estate plans presently in place for same-sex couples who now marry may make little sense and have adverse tax and practical consequences. Planning for unmarried couples, whether they are of the same or opposite sex, is also highly complex, involving a host of “work around” strategies to obtain favorable tax treatment and practical benefits for partners who choose not to marry. This program will provide you with a practical guide to planning for non-traditional families, including unmarried couples of the same or opposite sex and for same-sex couples who marry.
Estate and trust planning for unmarried couples that cohabitate and same-sex couples
Drafting co-habitation agreements or domestic partnership agreements
Pooling of income and sharing of expenses, and gift tax consequences to the financially advantaged partner
Determining when to use beneficiary designations and non-probate transfers versus trusts to transfer property
Planning for personal interests – health care decisions, burial decisions, and insurance issues
Planning for same-sex couples who marry after the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell
Understanding what martial rights under the tax code same-sex couples are entitled to post-Obergefell
Effect on estate and trust plans put in place before decision made – how to unwind plans that no longer make sense
Jennifer A. Pratt
is a partner in the Baltimore office of Venable, LLP, where she has assists client with estate planning, charitable giving, and estate and gift tax controversy matters. She has extensive experience with estate administration, the preparation of federal estate and gift tax returns, as well as fiduciary income tax returns. Earlier in her career, she worked with a major national bank and has particular expertise in adapting financial products to the estate planning needs of clients. She has been named in the 2011 edition of “Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition.” Ms. Pratt received he B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Baltimore, her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and her LL.M. in taxation from the University of Baltimore.
Missia H. Vaselaney
is a partner in the Cleveland office of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP, where her practice focuses on estate planning for individuals and businesses. She also represents clients before federal and state taxing authorities. Ms. Vaselaney is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has been a member of the Steering Committee for AICPA’s National Advanced Estate Planning Conference since 2001. Ms. Vaselaney received her B.A. from the University of Dayton and her J.D. from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.