My Two Cents

The Personal Finances of Domestic Partners

Chris Farrell Oct 7, 2007

Last Wednesday, we held at an educational seminar at Minnesota Public Radio for people who are in domestic partner relationships. The auditorium was full. The audience and their questions terrific. And the panel was truly engaged. The panelists were Ruth Hayden, a financial consultant and educator, Ross Levin, founding Principal of Accredited Investors, Inc, and Ann Viitala, an attorney in private practice and editor and a contributing author of “Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families Deskbook”. I moderated the session.

If you are interested, you can listen to the seminar at here.

There are a lot of personal finance issues for unmarried couples considering our system of managing and inheriting assets and money is really desgned around married couples. Among the topics we covered:

Planning as a process to strengthen relationships

The basics, from creating a will to beneficiaries of retirement accounts

Prenups and postnups for domestic partners who have the option of getting married; domestic partner agreements for people who are prohibited from marriage, or who choose to not marry

Health care issues and the need for health care directives

Negotiating fair financial agreements while in love – rather then after

Revocable trusts as a planning tool to care for loved ones and beyond

How to own a home together

Estate planning issues, from gifts to death

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