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US Supreme Court Rules on "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA)

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  In today’s post, we will discuss the Court’s findings and it’s impact on same-sex married couples.

Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA ) deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

In brief,  Section Three of DOMA states that the federal government may not recognize married gay and lesbian couples for the purpose of federal laws or programs, even if those couples are considered legally married by their home state.

The Court ruled that Section 3 is unconstitutional and that federal laws and programs apply in the same manner for same-sex married couples and for opposte-sex married couples.  Based on this ruling, same-sex married couples who are legally married in their own states are now eligible to, among other things,

– file joint income tax returns.

– receive Social Security Spousal Retirement benefits.

– claim the marital deduction for gift and estate tax purposes.

– receive health insurance under their spouse’s plan.

– name the spouse as the beneficiary under a qualified retirement account.

The above is just a small sampling of how things will change for same-sex married couples with regard to a host of financial and estate planning issues.  The ramifications of this ruling are far reaching and complicated.  It is strongly advised that same-sex married couples seek professional assistance to understand how the Court’s ruling will impact them.

Getting Legal Help 

Experienced Estate Planning Attorney, Elga A. Goodman, can advise you concerning how the US Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling will affect your personal affairs.  She can work with you to meet your needs and those of your loved ones.  Contact us today at 973-841-5111.

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