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SCOTUS Ruling Doesn’t Dent the Unmarried Niche

July 1, 2015

The Supreme Court’s decision to federally legalize same-sex marriages will affect financial advisors who offered specialized planning for such couples. But they may find plenty of work with gays and straights alike who choose to stay unmarried, ThinkAdvisor writes.

Advisors in the 13 states that didn’t recognize same-sex marriages prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling last week had to get creative to protect the financial interests of their clients in gay relationships. A common workaround: setting up life-insurance policies to fund estate taxes in case of one partner’s death, reports ThinkAdvisor. But such tactics may not be necessary when couples marry, one advisor tells the publication.

This makes things easier for financial planners with gay clients who opt for marriage. But it doesn’t mean similar workarounds won’t still be necessary for couples, both gay and straight, who prefer not to get formally hitched.

Some gay couples, Gen Xers not ready to commit and cohabitating boomers will provide plenty of opportunity for such specialized financial planning, an advisor from a state that had banned gay marriage tells ThinkAdvisor.

It may even lead to more work: Many couples who didn’t need specialized planning because their employers provided benefits to same-sex couples will no longer receive them, as companies such as Verizon, Delta Air Lines and IBM announced the elimination of such benefits following the court’s decision — and many other companies are likely to follow suit, according to ThinkAdvisor.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.