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LGBTQ

Same-Sex Couples May Find Estate Plan Update Useful

By | Attorney Andrea Claus, Estate Planning, Estate taxes, LGBTQ | No Comments

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, means that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.   It also means that same-sex couples might want to update their estate, financial, tax, and retirement plans.

The recent decision will make it easier for same-sex couples to file their taxes jointly.  In community property states, like Arizona and New Mexico, same-sex couples are now able receive the tax advantages associated with holding title as community property: this property is generally entitled to a fully stepped-up basis in the hands of a surviving spouse.  Surviving spouses in same-sex marriages will now also be able to receive IRA funds as a direct rollover.  Same-sex couples will also receive equal access to social security benefits and be able to transfer wealth to each other as spouses.

This historic decision will have a major impact on how same-sex couples plan their estates and their finances moving forward.  The IRS, Social Security Administration, and Labor Department are expected to provide guidance as to the ramifications of the new ruling.  If you are in a same-sex marriage, it is a good idea to sit down with an estate planning attorney to discuss the impact of the recent changes.

andrea-claus Contributed by Phoenix and Prescott Estate Planning Attorney, Andrea L. Claus.

Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, Morris Hall is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only three firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with Morris Hall.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

 

Same-Sex Marriage and Estate Planning after US Supreme Court Decision

By | Estate Planning, Historical Events, LGBTQ | No Comments

In a 5-4 decision by the United States Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity. The Petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex . . . .” Justice Kennedy concludes the opinion by saying: “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, every state must respect same-sex marriages performed in any other state.

With this decision, same-sex couples will have the following rights that every other married couple has:

  • They can travel within the United States without concern that their marriage will not be recognized. However, their marriage may not be recognized in other countries.
  • If they choose to divorce, they may do so wherever they are living.
  • They may be able to seek a state income tax refund for past open years.
  • They can file state income tax returns as a married couple.
  • They would get a state level gift/estate/inheritance tax marital deduction for assets gifted or left to their spouse, just like a traditional couple.

Simply because LGBTQ couples may now legally marry in every state does not mean they will. Thus, it is imperative for unmarried LGBTQ couples to create an estate plan; otherwise, should one of them die or become incapacitated, the significant other may not receive anything or have any rights.

dave-eastman  Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Arrowhead, Scottsdale and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.