Attorney Michael Gilfix Comments on Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 26, 2015 – With the Supreme Court’s landmark June 26 ruling legalizing gay marriage throughout the United States, same-sex couples should consider what the decision means for their financial and estate planning strategies for the future.

Married same-sex couples will now be able to take advantage of all the financial benefits that have been available to other married couples for years, such as health insurance, Social Security and retirement.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is life-changing for same-sex couples as it has leveled the playing field for all married couples when it comes to estate planning,” said nationally known estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix. “State laws determine how wills and estates are handled, which previously made estate planning complicated in states where same-sex marriages were not recognized.”

For those couples living in one of the 14 states where same-sex marriages were not recognized, or for couples planning to move to another state, the Supreme Court’s ruling is likely to have significant financial impact. Married same-sex couples will now be able to file joint state tax returns, just like other couples.

Prior to the Supreme Court the ruling, married same-sex couples in states that did not recognize their marriage had to prepare two sets of federal income tax returns. First, they would jointly complete their federal returns as a married couple. Then, each spouse was required to fill out returns as two individuals in order to complete their state tax returns.

Furthermore, estate planning attorneys had to use elaborate strategies to execute even the most basic planning directives for same-sex couples as they had to be treated differently from other married couples. Same-sex couples were denied spousal rights of inheritance, joint marital trusts and the certainty of having their will directives followed, among other essentials of estate planning.

“Now, same-sex couples can prepare wills, trusts and other key estate planning documents just like other married couples,” Gilfix said. “No one likes to think about their death or the consequences of aging, but they can now face such issues regarding the future with peace of mind. Same-sex couples should consult an estate planning attorney to find out how the Supreme Court ruling will affect them.”

Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP
2300 Geng Rd., Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Telephone: (650) 493-8070
http://www.gilfix.com/

Facebook: Like Us!

  • Survey reveals more than one-third of wealthy individuals lack estate plans
    The CNBC Millionaire Survey has found that 38 percent of 750 millionaires surveyed have not consulted a financial expert to establish an estate plan. The poll conducted by Spectrem Group for CNBC revealed estate planning was the most prevalent among individuals with investable assets amounting to at least $5 million, with 68 percent having worked […]
  • Nike launches groundbreaking shoes for people with special needs
    People with special needs face unique challenges that impact the quality of their everyday lives. For parents of special needs children, there is no greater hope than ensuring their child experiences life to the fullest despite having a disability that may inhibit their independence. Addressing one such issue, on July 13 Nike unveiled a line […]
  • Michael Gilfix in Trusts & Estates Magazine: Addressing Financial Elder Abuse
    Friends, We wanted to share an article that Michael Gilfix published in the prestigious Trusts & Estates magazine late last year. The article discusses issues related to elder abuse and diminished capacity as individuals age. In this article, Michael presents a new paradigm for thinking about this. He presents ways that families can keep an […]
  • Top reasons women need to consider estate planning
    Whether single, married, divorced or widowed, every woman should know how to maintain her financial independence and plan for issues she might face as she gets older, such as the need for long-term care. Women in the United States statistically have longer life expectancies than men, and therefore a higher likelihood of outliving their husbands. […]
  • U.S. Government focuses on elder justice at conference on aging
    President Barack Obama hosted the 2015 White House Conference on Aging on July 13. With adults aged 65 and above projected to comprise 20 percent of the United States population by 2030, the conference examined issues of importance to the future of older Americans, their families and caregivers. Elder justice was in the spotlight at […]