Estate planning for same-sex spouses – What the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling means
Abstract: In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which restricted the definition of “marriage” to a legal union between a man and a woman. Same-sex married couples are now eligible for approximately 1,100 federal benefits previously enjoyed only by heterosexual spouses, including a variety of federal tax advantages, Social Security benefits and preferred immigration status. As this article explains, one area where the decision will have a big impact is estate planning, including the marital deduction, portability, gift splitting and retirement benefits. A sidebar notes that there are still questions regarding issues the Court didn’t address.