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Estate Planning 101 for Same-Sex Couples

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Most couples can benefit from estate planning to ensure their assets land in the right hands after they die and their health care wishes are followed. But same-sex couples often have special situations that require extra planning. Here are five steps that pros say same-sex couples can take to get started with estate plans.

1. Know your marital status

The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, but the patchwork of prior state laws has had some unintended consequences for estate planning, says Joan M. Burda, an attorney in Lakewood, Ohio, and author of “Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples.” Because assets typically flow directly to a spouse upon death, it’s important to be...

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