How Does the Recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affect Estate Planning for Same-Sex Married Couples?
On June 26, 2015, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage must be recognized and licensed in all 50 states. This is a landmark decision that makes significant changes to the definition of marriage.
For practical purposes, it also makes monumental changes to estate, retirement, and financial planning for same-sex married couples countrywide. It is important to note that all following information only pertains to couples that are legally married, and not to couples in civil unions, domestic partnerships or unmarried relationships.
Prior to this Supreme Court decision, it was important to have estate planning documents up to date and financial planning done specifically to work around the inequalities between how the law treated same-sex married couples vs. heterosexual married couples. Since this distinction is no longer the law of the land, following are some significant estate and financial planning changes important to be aware of.