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Updates on Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families in the Trump Era

(1k+ reviews)

Produced on May 02, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Constitutional Wills, Trusts, & Estates

Course Description

Prior to June 26, 2015, it was up to each state whether same-sex couples could marry. Since the landmark Supreme Court ruling recognizing this right at the federal level, there are no legal obstacles to marriage. However, LGBT couples must still evaluate the pros and cons when considering whether to wed. Social stigma and complex family dynamics still play a part in this decision, and same-sex couples often have estate planning needs which are unique to the community.

One of the legacies of the patchwork of legal decisions granting same-sex marriage rights before 2015 is that married couples may have access to benefits that are retroactive, or have otherwise not been realized or captured. In this program, 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 specter of losing national marriage equality under a new Supreme Court.

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. Discuss the pros and cons of marriage from a legal, tax and financial planning perspective
  4. Advise clients on the potential “marriage bonus” or “marriage penalty” couples face when filing federal income tax returns
  5. Review the various benefits that 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

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


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)


Jennifer C.

Very informative summary and contains great tips/advice for the non-traditional and/or blended family. Not being a member of the LGBTQAI community myself, I especially appreciated the historical analysis and context. Thank you!

Andrew F.

Excellent program and well organized. Great speaker.

Anne M.

Excellent program. Speaker was knowledgeable, anticipated issues and questions, provided great slides and was clear and concise.

Mark D.



excellent presentation

E Q W.

Great overview and update in a vital practice area.

Sarah b.

Great course - substantive overview of the law and issues as well as practical advice.

David M.

What a knowledgeable legal practitioner!

Tracie K.

This was a great presentation. It was very interesting and informative.

Linda G.

Excellent presentation and materials. I would highly recommend this course.

Lawrence R. F.

good intro to LGBTQ legal issues

Leslie J.

Very informative! Thank you for the information and for the work you do.

John C.

This was a very good primer for those not frequently drafting documents for this community.

Deborah A.

This exceeded my expectations by a long shot. This was one of the best CLE courses I have taken in a long time. Bravo to Lawline for offering this as part of your course library. The presenter was great. He was an engaging speaker who came across as authentic and thoroughly knowledgeable of this area. The material was comprehensive and helped illuminate issues and challenges that may be less obvious, yet so important. Really a great course.

Lawrence E.


Katherine C.

Well done.

Douglas G.

Very good overview on the topic. Good check point ideas.

Arthur P.

Super informative and well structured presentation

Kimberly H.

Excellent overview with "nuggets" I will definitely incorporate into my practice. Thank you!

Michael J.

Very highly recommended.

stephanie c.

Informative and engaging

Deborah G.

Speaker presented a clear analysis of this topic.

Michele V.

Excellent course! Much useful information. Thank you,!

Jeffrey G.

Great speaker.

James S.

Excellent presentation for all people, including all unmarried clients and many married clients.

Christopher G.

This was an excellent course.

Katherine B.

One of the better programs I've seen. Definitely relevant to my practice and answered a lot of questions I am starting to hear more and more from clients. Thank you.

Virginia P.

Informative, engaging speaker

John G.

Solid presentation

Christina Y.

Great discussion and interesting data

Gianna O.

very insightful

Whitney M.

I really liked how clear and concise each of the points were made and the flow of the presentation.

Stephen M.

He's adorable

Kenneth R.

Best presenter with excellent command of the subject

Hilda E.

Excellent presentation of an interesting & timely topic

Jayne W.

Great presentation

Mark C.


Eileen K.

Really superb presentation. Cogent presentation, really likable and interesting presenter!

Richard C.


susan c.

good course!

Jenny A.

Excellent course. Lots of good information. The agenda is also on point for the young heterosexual adults preferring to not marry, yet own property and have children. Thank you.

Christopher B.

This was a very instructive CLE. I thought much of the presenter's discussion on "whether to wed" is helpful to all practitioners who are involved in estate planning.

irina a.

Quite a few issues I would not have thought about. very informative! Thank you!

Anne W.


Karen E.

Absolutely excellent CLE. The speaker was engaging, knowledgeable and thoroughly likeable. I learned a lot, in a short period of time. Highly recommend.

Stacey W.

Nice presentation

Rena S.

I have done LBGTQ estate planning but he definitely brought up things I hadn't thought of (like remarriage and planned giving--I enjoyed this more than most seminars

Rachel C.

Engaging presenter! Beat wishes on your marriage Scott!

Leigh G.

Great instructor. Very informative.

Ann L.

Interesting matrrial

Nicole P.

Scott is very knowledgeable with an easy delivery.

Charles-Christophe C.

It was fantastic listening to Scott. He was very informative and engaging. I can’t wait to see what other CLEs he presents. :-)

Jeanette S.


Billy J.

Outstanding presentation. Very helpful.

Jim B.

Presenter did a great job!

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