January 05, 2018
Nontraditional families may have become the new norm in the United States.
Blended families, single-parent households, multigenerational households, single-person households, same-sex couples and other nontraditional family structures represent almost 70 percent of the U.S. population, according to recent data from the U.S. Bank research report “Financial Insights for Modern Families.”1
Nontraditional families need to think more strategically about wealth transfer goals and how to use tools at their disposal to achieve them, says Shannon Baustian, Senior Wealth Planner for U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management in Minneapolis. “Every family has different concerns and needs,” she says. “Paying attention to the financial part of that is important.”
Two years after the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges legalized marriage for same-sex couples, many confusing financial issues have been resolved — but some are still being untangled. After years of having to carefully plot their wealth transfer plans to ensure their surviving partners were cared for, same-sex couples are now officially afforded all the legal and financial rights of heterosexual married couples. That includes access to the unlimited marital deductions that allow spouses to gift any amount of money or property to their partners without gift taxes.
“A lot of same-sex couples are still unwinding the trusts and other financial instruments they put in place because they are no longer necessary,” says Ann Dyste, LGBT Strategy Manager for U.S. Bank in Minneapolis. But for other nontraditional families, these tools are still vital to making sure their wealth transfer goals can be potentially upheld with minimal taxation.
Matthew Tilghman-Havens, Senior Wealth Planner for U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management in Seattle, adds, “Even among LGBTQ couples, there are still quirks around public entitlement, veterans’ benefits and state rules that can affect their estate.”