Same-sex Couples May Need New Estate Plan after Supreme Court Ruling

Posted on Jun 23, 2013

A new report highlights the importance of same-sex couples modifying their estate plan following pending U.S. Supreme Court decisions. These decisions revolve around two same-sex marriage cases that could significantly impact financial lives. The rulings are supposed to come down in June of 2013.

Depending on how the Supreme Court rules, California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act may be found unconstitutional. If that happens, it is vital for same-sex couples to review their federal income taxes and estate plans. Proposition 8 states that same-sex couples cannot legally marry. Similarly, the Defense of Marriage Act restricts federal marriage benefits for same-sex couples for income tax and other reasons.

If these two laws are deemed unconstitutional, same-sex couples may want to consider refiling as married. This could have a substantial impact on their existing estate plans. The changed impact may occur on both a federal and state level for California residents. Experts anticipate that these changes will take place immediately, if the laws are ruled unconstitutional. 

In addition to estate tax changes, refiling as married may also impact same-sex estate plans in other ways. These plans may need to be updated to change the appointed fiduciaries, recalculate distributions, or provide for tax minimization strategies.

For more information about potentially modifying or updating your existing estate plan, contact the experienced Anaheim estate attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm