If you are GLBT and wondering what you need to do to protect your finances as a same-sex couple, NerdWallet offers a new financial tool.
One of the realities of living in our country is that, unless you jump through a few hoops, it’s hard for same-sex couples to navigate the legal and financial requirements for naming your partner a next of kin, or ensuring that things proceed the way you want if you are incapacitated, or if you die. Heterosexuals, like myself, take it for granted that our partners have certain rights, and that things just happen a certain way, from receiving benefits from work to tax liability.
If you are looking for a little help in that area, NerdWallet has launched a new financial tool for same-sex couples. It provides insight on when to open a joint account as a same-sex couple, as well as some of the legal and tax issues involved. One of the biggest hurdles for many same-sex couples, even in states that allow gay marriage and/or civil unions, is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While states have been busy worrying about same-sex couples, they have ignored the fact that, as federal law, DOMA pretty much wreaks all sorts of havoc as GLBT couples try to figure out how to plan their finances and estates.
The NerdWallet tool offers some basic, helpful information that can help same-sex couples as they try to build some sort of life together. However, it is still a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, and a financial planner well-versed in same-sex issues, before you proceed. All couples have challenges as they work to figure out their finances and build wealth together, but same-sex couples run into difficulties that I will never have to deal with, and the NerdWallet tool offers some helpful places to start.