LGBT Estate Planning
While Estate Planning is important for all people, LGBT couples and individuals should take special care in creating and implementing a plan to ensure that their wishes are followed. Our firm’s combined years of experience will help same-sex partners and LGBT individuals create an effective Estate Plans. Our LGBT planning lawyers have many tool to assist same-sex partners, including carefully drafted clauses to help deter will challenges, powers of attorney that enable partners to act on behalf of each other should one become incapacitated, trusts that provide a layer of privacy to your plan, and many other devices to ensure that your plan is tailored specifically to your needs. The advice and counsel from one of our same-sex partner estate planning attorneys will help bring you peace of mind, knowing that you have the legal documents in place to enforce your wishes. LGBT planning options differ between states. For instance, a New Jersey same-sex couple has options that a Pennsylvania LGBT couple does not. A will for a Philadelphia same-sex couple will look different than a will for a Burlington County LGBT couple. Don’t settle for a cookie-cutter plan, let us craft a will that tailored to your needs. Click here to read our LGBT Estate Planning Blog!
Estate Planning, Inheritance Tax and Life Insurance for LGBT couples
Estate planning for the LGBT couple in Pennsylvania is complicated by the fact that no matter how long the couple may have lived with one another or be committed to one another, for Inheritance Tax purposes they are considered non-relatives. This means that transfers at death from one person to another are taxed at the highest possible rate; 15%.
One exception to this tax is life insurance. The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax rate on life insurance passing from on LGBT person to another at death is 0%. Every LGBT estate plan should then carefully examine the assets available to the couple and see if the existing life insurance, or life insurance purchased as part of the plan, can reduce the Inheritance Tax due.
For example, if one partner wishes to leave another partner $100,000 in cash, the surviving partner will only receive $85,000 after the 15% inheritance tax. On the other hand, if the partner left $100,000 from a life insurance policy, the surviving partner receives the entire $100,000. With a small amount of planning, the surviving partner in this example ends up with an additional $15,000.
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