Financial Planning for Unmarried Couples

Financial Planning for Unmarried CouplesAs Americans wait longer to tie the knot and with many couples opting to not marry at all, the need for sound financial planning for unmarried couples is growing. This provides investment advisors an opportunity to offer products and services cohabitating couples can take advantage of to protect their finances.

Financial advisors should inform their clients about the financial downside of choosing not to marry. They should be made aware they cannot take advantage of tax benefits, like filing a joint return. Neither can they avoid tax penalties associated with transferring asset ownership to their partners. Some clients may choose to overlook the downsides of not marrying for the benefit of not being legally responsible for the debt of their partner. A relationship that is unequal in this sense has its own pitfalls, of course, but a financial advisor can work with these couples to find fiscal solutions.

Whatever the perceived pros and cons of getting married or staying unwed, it is not the role of the financial advisor to act as a counselor. Financial planners should be direct, however, and clients should be informed of their options. Unmarried couples need to be honest with each other as well. They need to know what’s legally protected and what isn’t. Regardless of marital status, financial planning is essential for couples in committed, long-term relationships. Investment advisors should inform their clients of the importance of drawing up wills and naming one another as executor. Making sure property has been properly titled in both names and listing each other as beneficiaries on pension plans, retirement accounts, and insurance policies are services advisors can provide.

Advisors may have clients who choose not to maintain joint bank accounts, credit cards, or mortgage loans. If both parties are not listed, however, there is no legal right for one to look at account information registered in the name of the other. This is another challenge that gives investment advisors the opportunity to inform and educate clients about their options. In this case, a financial power of attorney may be recommended to allow for any contingencies. In the event couples should decide to wed and “make it legal,” planners are in a position to then offer their menu of services for marriage financial planning.

The trend away from legal marriage provides financial advisors with a new market in addition to their marriage financial planning services. There is great potential, here, for new business with opportunities to provide expertise. Investment advisors would be wise take advantage.

For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit or contact us at (800) 354-5528.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.

This blog and website are for informational, educational and discussion purposes only, and the owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group Inc., and any of their affiliated entities and principals are not a law firms or an accounting firms, or substitutes for an attorney or accountant. Although topics may be discussed on this blog that may involve legal, accounting, or investment issues, nothing on this blog shall be deemed to constitute the practice of law, legal advice, investment advice, and/or tax advice. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., and its affiliates do not, and cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. You should consult an experienced professional regarding tax consequences of specific transactions.

No reader should act in reliance on anything discussed in this blog without prior consultation with a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate the reader’s individual facts and circumstances and offer an informed professional opinion with respect thereto. If any reader takes action or makes decisions based solely on the information on this blog without prior consultation with a qualified, licensed professional, the reader does so at his or her own risk and agrees that Summit shall have no liability resulting from such unilateral action or decisions by the reader.

Summit makes every effort to provide accurate and truthful information in its posts on this blog, but in no way expressly or impliedly warrants or guarantees the accuracy of its postings and/or the information posted here by others. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Summit may, on occasion, post links to information maintained on other websites. Such links and the information thereon are not under Summit’s control.  The mere appearance of a link to a third party site does not mean that Summit has undertaken a review or approval of the link and/or its contents.  Readers must treat information from third party links at the reader’s own risk, and Summit accepts no liability with respect to such third party information. Please note that the third party’s privacy policy and security practices may differ from Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries’ standards. We assume no responsibility for nor do we control, endorse or guarantee any aspect of your use of the linked site.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to Summit Brokerage

Personalized Industry Newsfeed For You

Thank you. You are now subscribed.


Thank you. We will get in touch with you shortly.