Complications Expected as Same-Sex Couples Tackle Estate Planning
In January, same-sex couples were officially given the green light to marry in Florida. With Florida becoming one of the most recent states to legalize same-sex marriage, same-sex couples from all over the Sunshine State were able to legalize their unions. With this right also comes a number of legal ramifications in the form of estate planning and tax laws.
While Florida same-sex couples now can enjoy tax and estate planning benefits (such as joint filing of their federal income tax return), they do have a difficult road ahead of them when navigating federal and state laws and regulations. While this is true for same-sex couples in any state, it could be especially complicated for Florida same-sex couples that split time between residences in two or more states. With Florida serving as such a popular destination for snowbirds, many only call it their home during the winter months. If their other home is in a state where same-sex marriage is not yet legal, this could cause a number of complications in achieving estate goals and seeking state tax benefits.
Fortunately, these couples may soon be getting good news. In April 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will be addressing whether or not same-sex couples have a right to marry under the Constitution. If the court determines gay marriage is approved under the constitution, this could help resolve any tax or estate law issues and pave the way for greater benefits for these couples. Until this happens, however, these individuals should consider consulting estate and tax advisors in both Florida and their home states.
Estate laws are complicated for any individual, and it is always a good idea to consult a professional with any question you might have. To learn more about these important issues, contact the Florida estate planning attorneys at BaumannKangas Estate Law.