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Same-Sex Couples

Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court made marriage legal in all 50 states for Same-Sex Couples on January 26, 2015. This had major financial implications for LGBT couples. The Court held that same-sex married couples are entitled to equal protection under the laws and that their marriages must be recognized nationwide.

Money Advice For Same-Sex Couples After Supreme Court Ruling

  • The ability to file taxes jointly as a married couple (typically, the more a couple’s incomes differ from each other, the more they gain by filing jointly)
  • The married couple’s state estate tax exemption (where applicable)
  • The ability to access Social Security spousal and survivor benefits no matter where they live when they file (a recent analysis by Financial Enginesestimated that a same-sex married couple could get $20,000 to $250,000 extra in lifetime benefits from Social Security that they couldn’t get as single filers).
  • Spousal survivorship rights under state pension or other retirement benefits, even in states that previously didn’t recognize same-sex marriage
  • Spousal inheritance through intestacy (when a spouse dies without a valid will or trust);
  • Spousal priority in matters concerning an incapacitated spouse’s care, or recognition in the event guardianship or conservatorshipproceedings are necessary
  • Spousal identity or priority in the event will or trust proceedings are contested after death
  • Any other spousal contract right where the contract is construed under the laws of a state that did not recognize the marriage
  • Adoption and child custody proceedings, even in states that didn’t recognize two persons of the same gender as a child’s parents

Please see us if you would like further counseling regarding how you can maximize your financial benefits.