While same-sex couples have been allowed to marry since a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2015, not all couples decided to take that step. If their partnership was working well, they may have decided that they just didn’t need to add marriage into the mix. But there are good reasons for same-sex couples to make their partnerships into marriages, and one of the biggest reasons is the benefits they can receive through the legal protections of being wed.
Property protection, taxes, healthcare, and a host of other benefits are all important, and they’re all available to married couples. Even with a domestic partnership, there are benefits that same-sex couples can’t get access to. But marriage would open the door to those benefits, and create additional protections for the couple as they go through life together.
There are pros and cons to any marriage, but with the level of protection same-sex couples would achieve it’s well worth considering a legal marriage. Protecting any individual wealth can be done with a prenuptial agreement, and it’s also possible to set up Trusts and structure other assets for maximum benefit, while also choosing to gain access to the legal value that marriage can provide.
For same-sex couples that may be considering this, it’s important to address any concerns they have and focus on areas where they may see downsides to marriage. If those areas can be properly adjusted for protection and peace of mind, then couples can make the choice to marry, so they can protect themselves from a host of other risks.
A partnership of any kind, legal or not, doesn’t carry the same security that marriage carries, from a legal standpoint. Lower taxes, healthcare decisions, and property that legally passes to a spouse if the other spouse passes away are all valuable levels of protection that come along with marriage. Since these are available to same-sex couples, taking advantage of the opportunity could be the right choice.
Any time your marital status changes, it is a good time to revisit your estate plan to ensure it still addresses what is most important to you, and that it reflects your current financial picture. The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center can help. Contact us today to learn more!