November 19, 2012
Marcum's LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice Group Featured in AccountingToday Article "Marcum Offers Estate Planning Tips for LGBT Families"
By Michael Cohn
Marcum LLP has issued a set of 10 essential estate planning tips for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and other nontraditional families.
Marcum launched a national LGBT and non-traditional family practice last spring, offering specialized tax compliance and consulting services to the LGBT community.
"Nontraditional families must be proactive in their estate planning or they could be subject to severe financial consequences," said Nanette Lee Miller, national leader of Marcum's LGBT practice group and partner-in-charge of assurance services for the firm's California offices. "The inequitable access that these taxpayers have to tax treatments afforded traditional families requires them to be especially vigilant in their planning."
The firm's Top 10 estate planning recommendations for non-traditional families include the following:
- Prepare a Last Will and Testament
A will or trust ensures that assets are passed as intended. In the absence of a will, the intestacy laws of your state will govern distribution, and assets will not pass to an unrelated or unmarried partner.
- Create a Trust
A trust can be a useful alternative to a will for LGBT couples whose families may not support their relationships, thereby making a contested will more likely. In addition to providing privacy by virtue of not becoming public record, as is the case with a will once it is probated, trusts are also more difficult to contest than wills which have stringent execution rules.