Tax Compliance and Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples
Grier, Samuel H.
Ransopher, Tad D.
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Discusses the baby-boom generation reaching retirement age and the necessary increase in the number of same-sex couples who seek to create an effective estate plan. Attorneys and tax professionals involved in this process need to be aware of the challenges involved. Organized into two sections, it is intended to be a practical discussion that will explore the challenges that same-sex couples will face in estate planning. The first section explores the provisions of the I.R.C. that affect same-sex couples as they prepare their tax returns and compute their correct income tax liability each year. Also advises couples as to the best way to structure their personal financial affairs and other transactions to take advantage of the tax laws that will affect them. The second part discusses the many challenges that same-sex couples face in creating an estate plan and discusses the tools that the estate planning attorney can use to effectively facilitate the transfer of property between the same-sex partners after death. Tax planning, which is essential to any successful estate plan, is also addressed because the unmarried status of most same-sex couples poses unique challenges to the creation of such a plan. Some of the traditional estate and tax planning methods may still be used to carry out the intent of the partners; some modification, however, may be necessary to give that intent legal effect.