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Same-Sex Marriage and Finances: What Every Couple Should Know

Same-Sex Marriage and Finances: What Every Couple Should Know

June 02, 2022
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The challenges of pursing financial wellness and managing finances are common concerns for many married couples. Among the LGBTQ+, we understand from polls and studies that one in 10 LGBT adults are married to a same-sex spouse1. While many may opt to remain single, financial health is important for everyone of legal age. Here are some important factors that play a role when same-sex couples manage their finances.

While same-sex marriage became legal in 2015, following the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) 2, there are still challenges within various states regarding other aspects of finances which same-sex couples should be aware of when considering their financial plans.

Same-sex Couples With Children

One of the many questions regarding financial status comes about when a same-sex couple has children. Not only does the death of one of the partners devastate the surviving spouse, but there may also be additional financial challenges if the spouse who is now deceased was the one who adopted the child. Therefore, it might be an idea for a same-sex couple to create and update a living will or a trust. Considering the potential financial impact on the children from the marriage is an important part of overall financial planning that every couple should address.

Income Disparities Facing LGBTQ+ Communities

We have seen numerous studies, including The Williams Institute's "Documented Evidence of Employment Discrimination & Its Effects on LGBT People"3, which show that there are issues that impact same-sex couples' combined earnings. Earning disparities impact a couple's ability to save money, manage their financial health, and perhaps own a home.

The appropriate way to manage a same-sex couple's finances is a financial plan that encompasses your combined income, makes sense of your current financial picture, and is adaptable to changing circumstances.

Insurance Considerations for Same-sex Couples

Having a good life insurance policy is an important aspect of financial planning for nearly all couples. However, several important studies show that less than one-half of all same-sex couples maintain a life insurance policy4 in addition to any group policies they may have access to through an employer.

Factually, one must be prepared for the untimely death of a spouse, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Because of the income disparities which are problematic in the LGBTQ+ community, this may be one tool to consider when creating a financial plan.

Financial Plans Tailored for Specific Needs

Everyone should have a financial plan for their needs and goals. Some financial professionals take pride in customizing portfolios and helping couples assess their risks and understand their investment goals. Having a financial professional who takes the time to understand all of these aspects of financial planning and recognizes the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community is essential, especially in the case of same-sex marriage.

 

Footnotes

1 LGBT Americans Married to Same-Sex Spouse Steady at 10% https://news.gallup.com/poll/389555/lgbt-americans-married-same-sex-spouse-steady.aspx

2 Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556

3 Documented Evidence of Employment Discrimination & Its Effects on LGBT People https://escholarship.org/uc/item/03m1g5sg

4 Life Insurance for LGBTQ Persons
https://fidelitylife.com/learn-and-plan/learning-center/who-needs-life-insurance/life-insurance-for-lgbtq-persons/

 

Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by WriterAccess.

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