It was clear that the Supreme Court would soon get involved as numerous
states created legislation requiring same-sex marriages to be recognized
as legal rights. On June 26, 2015, in
Obergefell v. Hodges, a long-time same-sex couple from Ohio got their day in court. On that
day, the Supreme Court ruled that all State laws that ban same-sex marriage
are effectively invalidated. Specifically, the Supreme Court made the
following changes to the application of the 14th Amendment to the States:
- The 14th Amendment requires States to issue marriage licenses to individuals
of the same gender; and
- The 14th Amendment requires States to formally recognize same-sex marriages
of that state’s residents, when those residents entered into a same-sex
marriage in another state where the marriage was legally valid.
The holding in
Obergefell v. Hodges had a large impact on the estate planning and similar other opportunities
for same-sex couples. Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s holding, same-sex
spouses now have the same rights as married couples of the opposite-sex.
Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex spouses are entitled to all State tax benefits and other marital
benefits that other couples enjoy. This includes: marriage, divorce, adoption
and child custody, marital property, spousal privilege, survivorship (tenants
by entirety), contract rights, etc. Same-sex spouses can also take advantage
of estate planning marital deductions, portability of the Federal estate
tax exemption, joint tax returns, and other planning opportunities opposite-sex
married couples have traditionally had access to.
Therefore, now that the new laws exist, it is extremely important to have
your estate plan reviewed to ensure that you are fully protected and have
taken advantage of all of the new benefits
Obergefell v. Hodges has availed same-sex spouses to.
For more information on Asset protection, Estate planning, Business Law
and/or Probate please contact the attorneys of The Presser Law Firm, P.A.