Before marriage equality, LGBTQ planning lore was full of horror stories. There was the lifelong partner kicked out onto the street after his lover passed away. A woman who had to pretend to be her girlfriend’s sister to get into the hospital room. A father who lost the right to see his child after a messy break-up. These scenarios were so harsh and so frequent that they made planning essential. One of the main reasons I got into LGBTQ financial planning was to help prevent them. Through planning I could mitigate the risks LGBTQ couples took on because they didn’t have legally recognized marriage rights. Most of the time and in many important ways, the government didn’t recognize our relationships at all.
Now, with marriage equality, planning has become easier, but there are still distinct differences. These days, we at least now have a choice in how we plan. Interestingly, I’m finding more and more couples — LGBTQ or otherwise — are deciding not to get married.
If you choose to be in a long-term relationship and not get married, you’ll face a wide array of challenges and complexities. Today, I’ll discuss the ten most important issues you should address together.