I am part of a same-sex couple in California. Should we update our estate plans following the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA?

For same-sex couples throughout the state, the answer to this question is a resounding “YES!” The recent rulings are so new that some of the implications are not yet fully understood. Regardless, what we do know is that there are countless estate planning opportunities that are newly available to same-sex couples. If you and your spouse previously executed estate planning documents, now is a great time to discuss an update. Consider taking the following actions:

  • Contact an experienced Anaheim trust attorney right away for a review of your existing plan and recommendations for updates that may benefit you.
  • Gather your old estate documents, including ancillary documents such as durable powers of attorney and health care directives.
  • Obtain copies of bank statements.
  • Assemble copies of beneficiary designation forms.
  • Gather deeds for real estate.
  • Obtain a copy of your marriage license.
  • Gather copies of life insurance policies, tax returns, business documents, and any other financial information that may apply to your estate plan.

It may seem like a hassle to have to update your estate plan; however, the tax savings and other benefits that are suddenly newly available to you are well worth the investment.

To learn more about the process of conducting an estate plan modification, view our free guide, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating or Amending Your Will or Trust. Our office of knowledgeable Anaheim estate planning attorneys are experienced with working with same-sex couples and understand how to use provisions within your plan that will maximize the benefits available to you. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm