Estate Planning for Unmarried Adults Seminar Materials

Information

The laws that determine the rights and obligations of the parties in the event of death, disability, or dissolution of the relationship that apply to married couples, for the most part, do not apply to unmarried couples. This publications covers issues affecting unmarried couples that have chosen not to marry or cannot marry for legal reasons.

This comprehensive, stand-alone publication is direct from a June 2012 seminar. It is available as a searchable PDF via download. Click here for more information on electronic books.

CONTENT SUMMARY

  1. Introduction
  2. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010
  3. Ethical Issues of Joint Representation
  4. Same-Sex Marriage and The Defense of Marriage Act
  5. Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, Designated Beneficiaries and Reciprocal Beneficiaries
  6. Income Tax and Other Tax Ramifications of Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions
  7. Federal Preemption, Federal Benefits and Federal Programs
  8. Wills, Revocable Trusts, and Nonprobate Transfers
  9. Planning for Personal Needs
  10. Cohabitation Agreements and Related Arrangements
  11. Forming a Family, Parenting Arrangements
  12. Federal Tax Consequences of Federal Non-Recognition and Resulting Planning Opportunities
  13. Charitable Planning
  14. Strategies to Minimize Conflict
  15. Conclusion

Copyright © 2012 Virginia Law Foundation. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.  Introduction

II. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act
of 2010


    A. Estate Tax
    
    B. Gift Taxes
    
    C. Generation Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax

III. Ethical Issues of Joint Representation

    A. Separate Representation
    
    B. Separate Simultaneous Representation
    
    C. Joint Representation
    
    D. Intermediary Representation
    
    E. Documentation of Form of Representation in an Engagement Letter

IV. Same-Sex Marriage and The Defense of Marriage Act

    A. The Defense of Marriage Act
    
    B. Federal Legislation
    
    C. Challenges to DOMA
    
        1. In re Golinski
    
        2. Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v.
        United States Department of Health and Human Services
    
        3. In Re Marriage Cases; Perry v. Schwarzenegger
    
        4. Windsor v. United States
    
        5. Recent Federal Developments

    D. Comity

V. Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, Designated Beneficiaries and Reciprocal
Beneficiaries


    A. Marriage and Recognition of Marriage
    
    B. Common Law Same-Sex Marriage
    
    C. Same-Sex Marriage and Legal Relationships in Selected Jurisdictions
    
        1. California
    
        2. Connecticut
        
        3. Hawaii
    
        4. Massachusetts
    
        5. Washington

    D. Dissolution of the Same-Sex Marriage

VI. Income Tax and Other Tax Ramifications of Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic
Partnerships and Civil Unions


    A. Joint Return Filing
    
    B. Commuting Community Property to Separate
    
    C. State Income Tax Returns
    
    D. No Federal Tax Exemptions Upon Separation, Dissolution or Death
    
    E. Head-of-Household Status
    
    F. Dependency Exemptions
    
    G. Mortgage Interest Deductions
    
    H. Obligation of Support
    
    I. Adoption Credits
    
    J. Taxation of Domestic Partner Benefits

VII. Federal Preemption, Federal Benefits and Federal Programs

    A. Background
    
    B. Non-Spouse Rollover Provision for Retirement Plans
    
    C. Defined Benefit Plan Survivor Annuities
    
    D. QDROs
    
    E. COBRA
    
    F. Social Security
    
    G. Domestic Partner Employee Benefit Hardship Withdrawals
    
    H. Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts
    
    I. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    
    J. Bankruptcy

VIII. Wills, Revocable Trusts, and Nonprobate Transfers

    A. Wills and Revocable Trusts
    
    B. Revocable Trusts
    
    C. Beneficiary Designations
    
    D. Miscellaneous Considerations and Definitions

        1. Partner
    
        2. Parent and Child

    E. Tax, Debt and Expense Allocation
    
    F. Drafting for the Marital Deduction

IX. Planning for Personal Needs


    A. Durable Powers of Attorney and Guardianship
    
    B. Medical Powers of Attorney
    
    C. Health Care Directives
    
    D. Mental Health Directives
    
    E. Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment
    
    F. Death With Dignity Directives
    
    G. Ethical Wills
    
    H. Burial, Cremation and Funeral Instructions, and Organ Donation

        1. Disposition of Remains
        
        2. Anatomical Gifts

    I. Medicare and Medicaid

X. Cohabitation Agreements and Related Arrangements

    A. Background
    
    B. The Law in the Absence of a Written Agreement
    
    C. Drafting Cohabitation Agreements

        1. Recitals
    
        2. Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities
    
        3. Expenses While Living Together
    
        4. Dispute Resolution
    
        5. Parenting
    
        6. Assisted Reproductive Technology
    
        7. Marriage
    
        8. Termination of the Relationship/Death
    
        9. Choice of Law
    
        10. Severability

XI. Forming a Family, Parenting Arrangements

    A. Adoption
    
    B. De Facto Parentage
    
XII. Federal Tax Consequences of Federal Non-Recognition and Resulting Planning
Opportunities

    A. Defining the Rights of Unmarried Partners to Jointly Owned Property

        1. General Federal Estate and Gift Tax Considerations
    
        2. Indirect Gifts Arising From Pooled Expenses
    
        3. Joint Tenancies
    
        4. Alternatives to Joint Tenancies

    B. Adult Adoption

        1. Purpose of Adult Adoption
    
        2. Estate Planning Opportunities Following the Adoption of a Partner
        – Transfers of a Trade or Business
    
    C. Planning in Light of the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
    
    D. Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
    
    E. Life Insurance

        1. Insurable Interest
    
        2. Income and Estate Tax Consequences of Life Insurance
    
        3. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
    
        4. The Mechanics of the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
    
        5. The Transfer of a Preexisting Policy
    
        6. Using Partnerships and LLCs With Life Insurance
    
        7. Private Split-Dollar Life Insurance Arrangements
    
        8. Viatical Settlement

    F. Estate Freezes and Planning Under Chapter 14

        1. Purpose of Chapter 14
    
        2. Section 2701 – Transfers of Interests in Corporations and
        Partnerships
    
        3. Section 2702 – Transfers in Trust
    
        4. Section 2703 – Valuation of Restrictive Agreements

    G. Miscellaneous Strategies To Transfer Wealth Between Partners

        1. Annual Exclusion and Similar Gifts
    
        2. Sale to Recognize Loss
    
        3. Hiring a Partner as an Employee
    
        4. Installment Sales
    
        5. Private Annuities
    
        6. Stock Redemptions
    
        7. Retirement Benefits
    
        8. Transfer on Death Accounts/Deeds and Community Property
        Agreements
    
        9. Section 1031 Exchanges

XIII. Charitable Planning

    A. Charitable Remainder Trusts
    
    B. Charitable Lead Trusts
    
    C. Charitable Gift Annuities
    
    D. Pooled Income Funds
    
    E. Charitable Gifts of Remainder Interests in Personal Residences and Farms
    
    F. Simple Wills and Disclaimer Planning

XIV. Estate Planning for the Transgender Client


    A. Name Change
    
    B. Change of Gender Identifier on Various Documents
    
    C. Tax Considerations
    
    D. Marriage
    
    E. Practice Pointers

XV. Strategies to Minimize Conflict


    A. In Terrorem Clauses
    
    B. Statement That Omission of a Family Member Is Intentional
    
    C. Evidence of the Client’s Capacity at the Time of Execution
    
    D. Periodic Re-Execution of Estate Planning Documents
    
    E. Maintain Standardized Procedures
    
    F. Confirm Intent With Respect to Nonprobate Transfers

XVI. Conclusion

EXHIBIT A: Bibliography of Internet Resources

EXHIBIT B: Chart – General Rules – Property and Income: Community or Separate

EXHIBIT C: Drafting for Assisted Reproductive Technology, Collaborative Conception and Posthumously Conceived Children

Authors

Wendy S. Goffe, Stoel Rives LLP / Seattle, WA

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