US News:  “As North Carolina citizens vote on same-sex unions this week and Washington state begins recognizing same-sex marriage next month, gay and lesbian couples throughout the country find themselves in frustratingly complicated financial situations that require much more careful planning.

“Oftentimes they have to seek more planning assistance, more legal assistance, and more tax assistance than many other couples,” says Shawn Koch, a Portland, Ore.-based lawyer turned fee-only certified financial planner. “There's frustration because ‘sometimes I'm treated as married and sometimes I'm not.'”

Without recognition of marriage at the federal level and in many states, same-sex couples must cobble together their own financial and legal protections. Not doing so can leave assets vulnerable in the event of a break-up or death.”