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Will estate-planning change for same-sex couples?

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn same-sex marriage laws is a historical ruling that will assuredly have several implications for years to come. One of those aspects of life that will most certainly be affected is estate planning and trust administration. At this time Florida does not allow same-sex marriage so it remains to be seen how same sex couples in the Boca Raton area will be affected.

There are still certain aspects of the ruling that remain unclear. Each state has different laws and regulations regarding marriage and the Supreme Court did not address the DOMA provision that makes it legal for one state to disregard a same-sex marriage that occurred in another state. The question is which state law should the IRS use, the home of the couple or the state where they were married. This could be very important to same-sex couples who live in Florida but were married in another state.

Whatever the case, same sex couples who are married now have some life-altering decisions to consider as they begin the estate planning process. Some of the laws that will be affected include the marital deduction tax break, splitting gifts, special rights for rollovers, the portability rule, and company retirement plans.

If a person is ready to consider his or her long term estate planning, whether he or she is in a same-sex marriage or not, it may be a good idea to visit with an estate planning attorney. With the proper knowledge and experience an estate-planning attorney understands the laws and regulations that one needs to know in order to plan for his or her asset administration after death. Now may also be a good time for someone to revisit his or her plans to make sure they are up to date.

Source: Forbes, “How The Supreme Court Decision Will Change Estate Planning For Same-Sex Spouses,” Deborah L. Jacobs, June 26, 2013

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