Although many members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Maryland and other states are in need of estate planning, fewer LGBT investors have plans in place than non-members of the community. According to a study conducted by Spectrem, LGBT individuals are lacking in their plans for wills, trusts and estate administration.
According to the study, about 63 percent of LGBT individuals have a will and testament in place and only 54 percent have a living will. Similarly, 8 percent of LGBT investors have established an irrevocable trust, while 16 percent have an irrevocable trust. However, as the LGBT individual's wealth increases, so does the likelihood that he or she has such a plan in place. Still, wealthy LGBT individuals do not have plans in place at the same rate as wealthy heterosexual individuals.
For example, 56 percent of LGBT individuals who have a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million have a will in place, while 70 percent of heterosexual individuals with the same income level have a will. About 72 percent of LGBT investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million have a will in place compared to 91 percent of heterosexuals with the same net worth. Similar statistics exist for the creation of trusts, with 18 percent of LGBT investors with a net worth between $1 and $5 million having a trust in place and 27 percent of heterosexuals with the same net worth having a trust in place.
About a third of LGBT investors say that their financial advisor has discussed the benefits of wills and trusts with them in relation to their LGBT status. However, the majority report that they would choose an advisor or attorney based on the individual's familiarity with the client's unique financial situation.