Legal realities of same-sex marriages now being examined
|By Sadowski, Michael|
Same-sex couples who have tied the knot must deal with a host of new legal and financial issues now that they can be married in
As same-sex couples lined up at courthouses across the state to be married after the
That causes a dilemma when a same-sex married couple in
"Say a same-sex couple is traveling to
Even at the federal level, different rules and laws apply to same-sex married couples, Horwitz said. Receiving some federal benefits depends on your place of celebration, while others depend on place of residency.
Horwitz said the
"It causes a lot of things (in the estate) to be rewritten," said
One of the biggest benefits, she said, is that same-sex married couples now don't have to deal with inheritance tax in
The 15 percent inheritance tax is waived only for spouses, she said. Even if a couple had lived in a home for decades, when one of the couple died, the survivor was not considered a spouse and therefore was subject to the tax - same-sex or not.
"I've heard horror stories about people losing their house because they couldn't pay the inheritance tax, where if they were married, it wouldn't be an issue," Duckworth said. "
Same-sex couples legally married in one state (or country) but living in
"Since the ruling was that it was unconstitutional, it's like (the ban on same-sex marriages) never existed," Horwitz said, adding that his office had not seen any uptick in business since the ruling.
The key to remember is how new this is and how many professionals in the estate planning field are still learning the rules as states - including
"There is an awful lot of dust that needs to settle," said
"There is an awful lot of dust that needs to settle. And an awful lot of things that still need to be figured out."
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