By Robert Lalicki
Many long-time gay and lesbian relationships have the potential to break down because of a lack of trust that grows around the topic of money management. Many couples have difficulty when it comes to talking about The “M” word: MONEY.
Teamwork is the key. You both must take an active approach in your financial planning to make the right decisions for your situation. You need to develop a financial plan. Just like Heterosexual couples, gay & lesbian couples in a life long committment should sit down and map out a financial plan. Goals are important. Whether it be homeownership, vacation properties, or retirement, reviewing how you’re using various financial tools will help you decide how you’re merge your finances and make future financial decisions.
Getting life insurance is a must. Social security benefits can become tricky as most employers DO NOT allow a gay partner to be treated as a surviving spouse under current law. Social security benefits are only extended to the deceased persons’ legally married spouse. This could leave the surviving partner without sufficient resources.
Life insurance (where your partner is the beneficiary) might be the way to go for this contingency. To ensure that your partner has enough money, a home, car, in the event of an untimely death, gay couples should consider changing ownership of property from SOLE to JOINT ownership with the rights of survivorship going to your partner. The same goes for all your bank accounts.
For many couples the two most important aspects of financial planning involves securing a will and putting a power of attorney in place. A will ensures that the deceased partner wishes get carried out. A power of attorney allows a partner to make decisions and act in the event the other partner becomes mentally incapactiated.
Seeking the advise of a financial planner as well as an attorney is the best advise I can give you. Please use Pridesource as your resource for these professionals in our community that knows your life situations best.