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Centric Wealth offers same-sex couple advice

Same-sex couples should seek advice from financial planners and lawyers for superannuation, taxation, social security and estate planning purposes, according to advisory firm Centric Wealth.

On Friday February 28 – the eve of Sydney’s gay and lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations – Centric Wealth released a statement confirming that even without gay marriage legally recognised in Australia, there are many areas in which those in same-sex relationships are given the same rights as traditional couples.

However, as legislation varies between the states and territories, it is imperative that same-sex couples seek estate planning and financial advice to ensure their partner is taken care of in the future, it said.

“The three soundest pieces of advice I would give same-sex couples who are in serious, long-term relationships are to ensure their relationship is de facto or registered; for both partners to make a will with the assistance of a professional adviser; and to create a binding financial agreement,” Centric Wealth technical specialist Natasha Panagis said.

“The importance of estate planning and financial advice cannot be underestimated,” Ms Panagis said, adding that financial planning and estate planning is just as important for same-sex couples as it is for other unions.

While younger people may not wish to contemplate their own mortality and make a will, it is “simply good financial housekeeping”, she said.

“It is highly recommended that a will be drawn up with the assistance of a lawyer given the importance of the document.

“These professionals will provide advice and most importantly help ensure a person’s estate planning wishes occur.”

Ms Panagis said superannuation death benefits can also be paid to a same-sex partner if they are in a de facto or a registered relationship.

In the past, the partner needed to establish financial dependency or show an interdependency relationship.