As virtually everyone reading this knows, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia because of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
From an Estate Planning perspective for same sex individuals who are contemplating marriage, it really does not change all that much. However, there are a couple of things that can be stated. The first is that the unlimited marital deduction now applies to same sex marriages. This is really only relevant to those couples that have estates worth over $10,860,000 dollars.
On the other hand, there are advantages that are available from an Estate Planning perspective to not being married – whether opposite sex or same sex. As often is true in life, there are two sides to the coin.
For those people in same sex relationships, whether married or not, it certainly makes sense to review your Estate Plan. This includes insurance policies; and retirement accounts and annuities (the beneficiary designations).
In California, a community property state, there is a step up in basis for community property upon the death of the surviving spouse, which will allow whomever inherits the property to receive a higher tax basis.
For the vast majority of people, whether a heterosexual or same sex relationship, it makes sense to meet with an Estate Planning attorney to review an estate plan at least every couple of years. This is simply another opportunity to point this out.
Estate Planning and Probate Attorney, Manhattan Beach Local, Sports Enthusiast