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On Demand Audio

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples in a Post-Trump Administration World

(882 reviews)

Produced on June 22, 2017

Taught by
$ 89 Family & Matrimonial Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estates, Civil Rights, and Public Interest Law In Stock

Course Information

Course Description

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court recognized the right for same-sex couples to marry in every state. Previously, it was up to each state whether same-sex couples could legally marry. Even so, such valid marriages under state law had only recently gained federal recognition.

Same-sex couples often have estate planning needs that are unique to the community. While they enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples, family dynamics and social stigma still play a part. Although there may not be a legal obstacle to  marry, same-sex couples need to evaluate the pros and cons when considering whether to wed.

With the patchwork of legal decisions granting same-sex marriage rights across the country and the Supreme Court finally applying those rights equally, married couples may have access to benefits that are retroactive, or have otherwise not been realized or captured. Scott E. Squillace, a Boston-based estate planning attorney, discusses practical estate planning tips for same-sex couples, whether  to wed from a legal, tax and financial planning perspective, capturing previously unavailable benefits, and the possibility of losing national marriage equality. 

Learning Objectives:  
  1. Achieve a basic understanding of the legal path to marriage equality
  2. Gain practical estate planning tips for  same sex couples
  3. Identify the pros and cons of marriage from a legal, tax and financial planning perspective
  4. Become aware of a potential “marriage bonus” or “marriage penalty” couples face when filing federal income tax returns
  5. Understand how various benefits may be retroactively available to married couples
  6. Appreciate the concern within the LGBTQ community that the current administration could set back marriage equality through the Supreme Court


Scott E. Squillace

Squillace & Associates, P.C.

Scott Squillace is a business and estate planning attorney with nearly 30 years of experience practicing law. He is the principal and founder of a boutique estate planning firm in Boston’s historic Back Bay.

Scott began his practice career as a corporate attorney at Skadden Arps where he assisted in opening its Paris and Moscow offices in the early 1990’s. During his time at Skadden he did significant private and public company corporate and securities work as well as international transactional work from the firm’s Washington, D.C., New York and Hong Kong offices in addition to Paris and Moscow.

Scott has significant business counseling experience as an in-house corporate attorney, first as General Counsel for Levi Strauss & Co.’s European division based in Brussels and later as the first General Counsel for Grand Circle Travel, a privately held Boston based travel company. He also served as European Counsel for Cabot Corporation in Boston, a NYSE public company. He lived and worked in Europe for a total of 10 years and has travelled for work extensively in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Scott’s current practice focuses on estate and business planning matters including tax and philanthropic planning for high net worth individuals and families. His practice includes asset protection and estate planning needs for international clientele, corporate executives, small business owners, physicians, attorneys and other professionals. He has a particular focus on helping same sex couples and members of the LGBTQ community with their unique planning needs and frequently lectures locally and nationally on this topic. In 2014 he published the first planning guide after the seminal Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage: “Whether-to-Wed: A legal and tax guide for gay and lesbian couples.” He is a member of the Wealth Counsel, a national network of estate planning attorneys where he works in collaboration with other attorneys nationally.

In addition to his work as a legal counselor to individuals and families, he also frequently serves as fiduciary for the estates and as a trustee or co-trustee for family trusts. The team at Squillace & Associates assists him with the full range of services around tax, business and estate planning, including all post-mortem settlement matters.

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts (1987)

New York (1988)

Washington, D. C. (1988)

Paris, France (as Avocat) (1993)

U.S. District Court, D.C. District U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit and the United States Supreme Court


Bachelors of Arts degree, Fordham College, Bronx, New York (1984)

Diplome program, Sorbonne University in Paris, France (1983)

Juris Doctor, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1987)


William P.

Great instructor!

john m.

Great program

Jhiela P.

I've watched a ton of these videos- and I really enjoyed this speaker. More so than others I have seen, he seemed very knowledgeable on the subject, and you could tell it was one he truly cared about. I think that really makes a difference.

Joy Ryen P.

I appreciate the stories shared at the end. They will be a great tool for discussions with clients.

david s.

Very informative

Karen M.

Really enjoyed this speaker.

Andrea C.

Lots of great info

Lisa B.

Excellent presenter.

Michael C.

This was a great CLE. I don’t know that I’ll ever practice in this are but it helped me think through issues that I plan to discuss with my LGBT friends and family.

Margaret H.

Thank you for super organized talk

Randi V.

Superior presentation. Highly recommended.

Nichole S.

Great program!

Paige C.

Great program!

Stuart N.

Excellent speaker. Really knew his stuff and communicated well.

Gaston W.

Very informative and helpful in my CLE.

susan s.

the speaker was very easy to listen to, explained things well and had excellent information.

Mary C.

Excellent & informative session with a good speaker.

Malcolm D.

Interesting points regarding the new administration and potential impact on the topic based upon new Supreme Court appointments.

Tara N.

Excellent speaker. I do not practice in this field but I have family member needing to be informed about same.

Susan C.


Ruben V.

This course has general and specific applications in estate planning. It also offers an insight into how changes in the law can adversely impact same sex marriages and the benefits and liabilities.

Jordan H.

Great programme and love the speaker!

stephen p.

well done

Mattie A.


Richard H.

Very well done.

Guy L.

Full of interesting professional information plus a unique personal take on the subject. Great course!

Laura G.

Excellent presentation!

Ron V.

Very informative course. Pertinent information and insights.

Valerie H.

Informative presentation. Excellent speaker.

kathleen s.


Claire L.

This was full of very informative information!

Tom G.

Found information useful and some of the topics were unexpected but appreciated, for example, some tips on how not to offend.

Thomas B.

interesting perspective!

Caroline B.


Jason J.

Very strong presentation

Lawrence M.

Excellent practical advice.

Adrienne L.

An excellent presentation and a superb presenter.

Jeri W.

This is helpful for anyone as an overview on all marriages and estate planning.

Daria T.

Excellent overview. Thank you.

Tommy M.

Very practical planning tips with good examples

scott d.

This panelist was excellent. Very informative.

Rhea S.

i disagree with a couple of your tax statements and common law marriage IS a big issue in states where it exists, but overall one of the better programs I've heard! Congrats on excellent info.

Stephen E.

Very articulate speaker dealing with a complicated, bizarre topic.

Tucker C.


Liza F.

He was a very good speaker.

Katherine D.

Very good presentation on a timely topic.

Melissa R.

The speaker was excellent.

Gail R.


Brian H.

very interesting issues to consider

Michael C.

Good roundup of issues than expected. Good course for all trust/estate engaged counsel.

David S.

this is correct pace. excellent david

James S.

Very good. Also very useful for straight couples who might be fearing the marriage penalty.

Carolyn S.

Excellent program

Bradley S.

Really well done and informative -- thank you!

Michael M.

Great seminar!

Daniel O.

Very informative

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