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LGBTQ Estate Planning: Taking Advantage of the Unlimited Marital Exemption

Every couple should consider drafting an estate plan as soon as possible, no matter their age. We never know what may happen to us, and having a well-executed estate plan will ensure our wishes are carried out as we want upon our incapacity or death.

While heterosexual spouses have historically been able to estate plan without much difficulty, the process has been more complicated for LGBTQ couples. This is because many states did not recognize same-sex marriage until the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the land.

Below, we provide some tips for estate planning for LGBTQ spouses, as well as how to take advantage of the unlimited marital exemption, which had previously only been available to heterosexual couples in many states.

What Is the Unlimited Marital Exemption?

The unlimited marital exemption allows spouses to leave an unlimited amount of assets to the surviving spouse without triggering federal estate and gift taxes, as long as both spouses are United States citizens.

Additionally, same-sex couples can rollover assets from a deceased spouse’s retirement account to their own account without a mandatory minimum distribution, which previously was not an option for same-sex couples.

The unlimited marital exemption is not the only element of a well-executed estate plan for same-sex couples. Making a plan for end-of-life care, child custody, real estate transfers, and more are vital components of an estate plan that call for the experience of a seasoned legal professional.

If you and your spouse want to begin the estate planning process, Pearson Butler is here to help. Our attorneys have helped many LGBTQ couples plan for their future, and we can answer any questions you may have.

Call us at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a consultation!