Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

In United States v. Windsor (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which required that federal statutes, regulations, and rulings be interpreted as defining marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman" and a spouse as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." Then, in Obergefell v. Hodges(2015), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down every ban on same-sex marriage in the United States, including Section 2 of DOMA which provided that states have the right to deny recognition of same-sex marriages licensed in other states.

As a result, same-sex marriages must now be recognized by every state and the federal government. If you're in a same-sex marriage or about to get married, you'll want to consider reviewing your estate planning goals, strategies, and documents with an estate planning attorney to determine whether changes are necessary.

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