Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: Implications of Same-Sex Marriage

Question: I understand that the Supreme Court has recently outlawed state bans on same-sex marriage. What are the implications of the decision? Answer: (in brief): 1. All 50 states, D.C. and all territories of the U.S. must not prohibit the marriage of same-sex couples. 2. All 50 states, D.C. and all territories of the U.S. must recognize a valid same-sex marriage from another state, D.C. or a U.S. territory. 3. All 50 states, D.C. and all territories of the U.S. must offer all of the same rights and benefits (tax, etc.) to same-sex couples that  would otherwise be offered to opposite sex couples. In fact, the IRS has now followed suit to recognize same-sex marriage for all federal tax purposes, including income, estate, gift, generation-skipping, and employment tax. Comment: To be clear, the decision does not mean that clergy are required to bless or preside over a same-sex marriage.  Moreover, in some jurisdictions individuals may still be able to discriminate against same-sex married couples (such as housing or business transactions).


Steve Shane Head Shot for webSteve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.