Same-sex couples have to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 to replicate just some of 1,138 legal and economic benefits straight married twosomes get with a $50 marriage license. Aware of the legal, tax and financial hurdles faced LGBT families, the personal-finance site NerdWallet has launched a new same-sex couples planning tool.
Its extensive FAQ offers info on everything from the tax implications of being married on the state but not federal level to securing hospital-visitation rights and durable power of attorney. Sadly, many of us wait until a crisis to find out what our rights are—which is the worst time to find out how royally screwed were are by DOMA and other legal obstacles.
“Many couples think that a Registered Domestic Partnership or state-sanctioned marriage is sufficient. It isn’t. What happens when you travel to another state? What happens when the Federal government comes asking for their estate taxes,” posits NerdWallet’s Shiyan Koh, who recommends couples hire a qualified lawyer to draft their documents rather than go the DIY route. “It may seem expensive to pay an attorney now,” she says. “but it will be cheaper than the cost of dealing with litigation because you didn’t have these protections in place. “
Best of all, if you can’t find the answer you need, they’re also happy to address user submitted queries, like “How do I find a gay-friendly attorney?” Good question!