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Addressing the Challenges of Same-Sex Pre-Marital and Post-Marital Agreements

Photo of Stacey Shuster, Ph.D., Linda Scaparotti, Esq., and Frederick Hertz, Esq.

Now that marriage is available to all, same-sex couples face the daunting questions of whether to marry, and if so, whether to have a pre-marital (or post-marital) agreement. Hosted by Horizons Foundation, this panel will feature Stacey Shuster, Ph.D.Linda Scaparotti, Esq., and Frederick Hertz, Esq. addressing the legal and psychological dimensions of such agreements, with an emphasis on how the personal and financial issues of sharing resources — or not — arise for same-sex couples.

Seats are limited, so please be sure to register early. Lunch will be provided.

When: Thursday, May 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Google Community Space, 188 The Embarcadero (enter on Steuart Street)


Free Registration


Topics to be discussed include:

• the issues and emotions that arise in the estate planning context, when married clients learn the rules of separate and community property;

• the situation where one partner owned a house prior to registration/marriage but now wants to capture the double step-up in basis upon inheritance, requiring community property ownership;

• when feelings about sharing assets are very strong, upsetting the equilibrium in the relationship, resulting in anger directed at each other or the attorneys;

• differences in expectations going into a marriage (or registered partnership) vs. the legal rules, challenging the understanding of separate/community property and joint assets and debts;

• differences in the partners’ philosophies of supporting oneself, in contrast to pooling their efforts with regard to taking care of children/household;

• the role of a partner’s belief that “I took care of” you during the marriage, especially where one partner wants to change that dynamic;

• when the higher-income earner feels taken advantage of, if the lower-income earner expects to receive financial support or sharing assets in the event of a dissolution;

• the unique experience for same-sex couples who say “we didn’t intend to abide by RDP/marriage laws because it was done for health insurance or other reason";

• particular issues arising for gay couples and lesbian couples, connected to gender-role expectations;

• setting one’s own standards: do the professional’s biases and beliefs matter?