Marriage Counsel - A Planning Update for Same-Sex Married Couples

October 2013

By: Arlene G. Dubin, Daniel S. Rubin, and Gideon Rothschild

STEP Journal - Wealth Structuring Analysis for Trust and Estate Practitioners

This article provides a planning update for same-sex married couples in the U. S.

On 26 June 2013 in Windsor v. US, the US Supreme Court ruled that s3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.  DOMA is a 1996 federal law which provided that only individuals of opposite sex were to be recognized as 'spouses' or as 'married' for purposes of federal law. 

Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

The Windsor decision substantially influences tax and estate planning for same-sex married couples, who, as a result, should have their estate plans reviewed.  In addition, with more than 1,100 federal laws affected, couples should review employee benefit plans, income tax filings and retirement plan designations.

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