Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, June 30, 2014

Overview of the Legal Treatment of Same-Sex Marriage

RingsAs I have previously discussed, about one year ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which has created Social Security and Medicare benefits, and some complications for same-sex couples. Federal benefits have been extended in many other areas of law, such as income tax and immigration, but the extension of these benefits to the state level still depends on whether the state of residence recognizes the couple’s marriage. Below are areas that are creating legal complications for same-sex married couples that live in a state that does not recognize their marriage:

  • Receiving Social Security and Veteran Benefits in states that do not recognize the couple’s marriage
  • Having to file as single on state tax returns, even though the couple can file as married for federal taxes.
  • Receiving time off of work to care for a same-sex spouse
  • Having employee health benefits extend to the same-sex spouse
  • Having the marriage recognized to obtain a visa for the same-sex non-citizen spouse

See Jonnelle Marte, A Year After Supreme Court Ruling, a Rundown of What’s Changed for Same-Sex Couples, The Washington Post, June 26, 2014.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink

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