Lifetime Legal Estate Planning Attorney Eric Smith Comments on The Supreme Court Decision Regarding DOMA Will Change Estate Planning for Same-Gender Spouses
Estate planning attorney Eric Smith of Lifetime Legal Estate comments on how the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding same gender marriages will affect estate planning for affluent same-gender married couples.
California (I-Newswire) September 10, 2013 - Eric Smith, an estate planning attorney at Lifetime Legal , one of Ventura County's leading estate planning firms, warns same gender married couples on how the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same gender marriages could affect their estate planning.
The DOMA Ruling
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme court decided two cases that resulted in recognizing same-gender marriage and allowing marriage equality. In United States v. Windsor, the case that culminated in the demise of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), plaintiff Edith Windsor was handed a tax bill for more than $363,000 by the IRS after her same-gender spouse passed away and left Windsor her estate. [Supreme Court of the United States, Docket Number 12-307].
According to court documents, Windsor filed a lawsuit in the New York district court for a refund, claiming that Section 3 of DOMA violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution in its definitions of "marriage" and "spouse." The court documents further stated that, ultimately, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court opinions that the tax should be refunded. Objectionable
The Effect of the DOMA Ruling on Estate Planning
According to a Forbes.com article, prior to the ruling, same-gender married couples were forced to pay federal estate tax on their inheritance because under the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), they were not considered married. The article pointed out that by striking down DOMA's definition of marriage, it makes thousands of federal laws and regulations available to same-gender married couples.
"One of the major benefits of striking down DOMA is the federal estate planning benefits that will now be available to same-gender couples," commented estate planning attorney Eric Smith of Lifetime Legal .
The article further noted that in a post-DOMA ruling, the marital deduction allows same-gender spouses to transfer as much money as they want to each other, both during life and after death, without having to pay any federal estate or gift tax.
"This is a major victory for same-gender married couples who are married and live in a state that allows same-gender marriage," commented Smith.
The Forbes.com article further points out that what the Supreme Court failed to address in the Windsor case is whether these same estate planning rights and privileges will apply even if a couple was married in a state that allows same-gender marriage but ultimately moves to a state that does not.
"The DOMA ruling may not have been perfect and may have left many questions and issues unanswered, but it has provided same-gender married couples with a platform to fight for their rights, especially with regard to estate planning," stated Smith.
About Lifetime Legal
Lifetime Legal is committed to providing legal help to all married couples in Southern California. They urge anyone who has an estate planning question or concern to contact them immediately.
About Lifetime Legal
1200 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 190, Camarillo, California
Phone : 805.419.5290
Tags:Estate Attorney Estate Planning Attorneys estate planning law firm estate planning law estate planning lawyer
Published On:September 10, 2013
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