Supreme Court Decisions Brings Tax and Inheritance Benefits to Same-Sex Marriages

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 Randick O’Dea Tooliatos Vermont & Sargent, 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!