In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment
requires that all states license and recognize same-sex marriages. This
decision requires that all married couples are treated equally under Federal
and State law. Many benefits that heterosexual couples receive are now
available to same-sex couples, including those related to taxes and inheritance.
Below is a limited list of some of the benefits that couples nationwide
will now enjoy:
- Right to inherit a spouse’s property under state intestacy laws
- Filing joint federal and state tax returns
- Priority as the guardian or conservator of an incompetent spouse
- Qualifying as a “surviving spouse” for Social Security benefits
- Unlimited gifting to each other without gift tax implications
- Qualifying for the marital deduction for estate tax purposes
- Rolling over a deceased spouses IRA
Although many of these benefits were available to California Registered
Domestic Partners prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, those couples
are now protected should they choose to leave California and live in another
state. This is immensely beneficial and offers a great deal of relief
to same-sex couples who previously were concerned that their rights would
not be upheld in other states.
Take the Time to Review Your Estate Plan
The most important thing for same-sex married couples to do now is review
their estate plan to determine whether there are changes necessary to
take advantage of this ruling. Waiting to do so until the future can be
detrimental, both to yourself and to the assets that you currently possess.
At Sargent Law Offices, we understand that the laws associated with estate
planning can be complex. Fortunately, your questions do not have to go
unanswered! Our firm has both the experience and legal knowledge necessary
to comprehensively address your concerns. The sooner you call, the sooner
you can obtain peace of mind no matter what the future may bring.
Take advantage of your free consultation by contacting our Alameda County
estate planning attorney today!