On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in the Windsor case the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby enabling married same-sex couples to enjoy the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples.
Same-sex married couples will now enjoy benefits including:
- Filing joint income tax returns;
- Claiming the marital deduction for gift and estate tax purposes;
- Naming the spouse as the beneficiary under a qualified retirement account and allowing the spouse; “roll over” the account into his own account, electing portability of the deceased spouse’s unused applicable exclusion amount;
- Simplifying the basis and contribution rules with respect to jointly owned property;
- Splitting of inter-vivos gifts;
- Eliminating adverse tax consequences for the transfer of property pursuant to a marriage settlement agreement; and
- Granting certain Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
This case will have a far-reaching impact on estate planning practitioners. Our presenters will discuss the recent case and what estate planners need to know when advising same-sex couples. The presenters will provide suggestions for immediate action and also discuss the application of the case to various residency scenarios.