Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Ruling

July 4th is the most important day in our nation’s history. July 4th, the day we declared our Independence, our break from repression, and the beginning of the land of freedom and opportunity. Our Founding Fathers toiled for individual freedoms and liberties.Now, here we are today, complex, diverse, and ever changing.  Do we know what the future holds on an array of issues challenging our country, absolutely not. Yet, we have the freedom to change, to grow, to adapt to meet our current needs. On July 4th we declared independence for freedom and liberty and this week we should all continue to celebrate that freedom and liberty continue to be fundamental cornerstones of this country.

This week we’re going to talk about the Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling. Since the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that DOMA was unconstitutional, same-sex married couples will now have access to over 1,000 federal benefits.

Below are the five biggest ways the Supreme Court decision will affect same-sex couples:

  • Married same-sex couples can now file joint federal income tax returns. No more hassle of filing jointly for state tax returns and then separately for federal tax returns.
  • Retirement plan rollover. A deceased spouse’s IRA can roll over into the survivor’s without being taxed first.
  • When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse can now collect the deceased spouse’s Social Security benefits if that amount is higher than the Social Security check the remaining spouse was currently receiving.
  • One spouse can sell property to the other spouse without paying a capital gains tax.
  • Federal health care protections now protect same-sex couples, allowing the previously uncovered spouse to receive COBRA benefits and spousal benefits in Medicare.

This decision has great impact on estate planning for same sex couples and is a great step towards equalizing federal benefits for all.

At the Law Office of Amy Antonellis we believe that everybody should have access to a quality attorney regardless of their current living situation. Unfortunately, there are times when those are in need of immediate estate planning services but are unable to make it to the office. Attorney Antonellis will travel to clients, wherever they are located, whether it be a hospital, nursing facility, or in their home, to help them create or alter an estate plan that best suits their current needs. If you are in need of an out of office consultation, contact our estate planning attorney today.

The Law Offices of Amy Antonellis

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