Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of “marriage” as being only between a man and a woman, same-sex couples throughout the state should consider modifying their California trusts. Many new opportunities are now available to married same-sex couples that could improve their overall estate plan. If you are part of a same-sex couple and are considering updating your estate plan, contact an Anaheim trust attorney today for guidance.
Why should a same-sex couple discuss estate planning updates with their attorney? The following are five examples:
- The new availability of tax deductions and exemptions reserved for married couples could save you thousands in taxes with a properly updated California trust.
- Trusts drafted prior to the DOMA decision now have outdated definitions of the word “spouse.”
- Beneficiary designations should be changed since spousal rollovers for IRA and 401(k) plans are now available. Previously, same-sex spouses did not have automatic access to these qualified retirement plans.
- Ancillary estate planning documents will also need to be updated to coordinate properly with the modified living trust, including wills, powers of attorney, and health care documents.
- Same-sex couples will need to have their gross estates reevaluated to determine what taxes they may be subject to and what tools might now be considered in order to minimize the burden.
Updating estate documents to maximize their effectiveness requires the guidance and knowledge of an experienced professional. For more information, contract our office of experienced Anaheim estate planning attorneys today. Call us at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation and further guidance.