The Marriage Equality Act

NYC Same-Sex Marriage Estate Planning

One in four new marriages in New York City is a same-sex marriage, and same-sex spouses need estate planning and asset protection!

Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC located in Staten Island has a longstanding reputation for protecting what’s important to our clients. The firm opens a new chapter in client protection under the Marriage Equality Act. With the passing of New York’s same-sex marriage law on July 24, 2011, gay and lesbian couples can benefit from estate planning and family asset preservation strategies. These strategies, not previously available in same-sex relationships, now can be implemented. Good planning provides options for the protection of your rights and preservation of your assets under the new law.

Same-Sex Estate Planning Options

It is vital that you understand the options available to you and your spouse. With a free consultation, learn your options as they pertain to:

  • Marriage Obligations. Under the Marriage Equality Act, you and your spouse can that now benefit from the legal and financial bonds of marriage. Support, inheritance, retirement, insurance, creditors, and Medicaid eligibility for government-paid, long-term care for spouses.
  • Trusts. The use of living trusts to accomplish plan goals and to avoid probate.
  • Tax benefits. Marriage allows two individuals to avoid potential tax and legal consequences, including conflicts in federal and state laws, income tax, estate tax, generation-skipping and gift taxes, retirement funds, and health care benefits.
  • Estate planning documents. There are a number of documents that you must now have in place to protect yourself and your spouse. Generally, this includes wills, health care proxy, durable power of attorney, deeds and property ownership, exemptions for benefit of spouse, minor or disabled children, right of election if you are not protected in your spouse’s will, out-of-state property, intestate succession (dying without a will results in the state deciding who receives your property when you die), and avoiding probate and tax issues
  • Plan of Disposition. Disposition plans to your spouse, adopted children, children from prior marriages, and step-children. Rights and obligations of children.
  • Prenuptial or Postnuptial agreements. These agreements allow you to agree with each other with respect to property rights. Ownership of property, and the right to occupy each other’s real property are often added into this document. Additionally, they can state the rules of your marriage, and protect assets in the event of divorce.
  • Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA and effect on Social Security, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, prior cohabitation agreements, civil unions, and how recent court cases are likely to reverse denial of your federal benefits.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do not let the state or federal government take what rightfully belongs to you and your family. If you live in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the other boroughs, let the Staten Island Estate Planning attorneys at Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC provide you with a plan to protect your rights and your assets. Call us today at 718.477.7700 to schedule your free consultation.