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CPA discusses impact of DOMA ruling

CPA Tom Walpole discussed the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act Monday morning on News 8 at Sunrise.
CPA Tom Walpole discussed the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act Monday morning on News 8 at Sunrise.

In June, the high court ruled that same sex couples are entitled to the same federal rights as heterosexual couples.

The case has its origins in New York.  When Edith Windsor's same sex spouse died in 2009, Windsor had to pay $363,053 in federal estate taxes.

Walpole said there are several areas the ruling will have an impact on for same sex couples in New York.  In addition to estate taxes, the ruling will impact wills, social security, employer provided health care, income taxes and retirement plans.  Some 1,100 federal statutes will need to change their language from "husband and wife" to spouse one and spouse two.

The ruling could complicate matters for businesses that operate in states with and without same sex marriage, and for couples who move to states without same sex marriage noted Walpole.

He advised several action steps for same sex couples as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.  Walpole said those couples should revisit their financial plan, update their estate plan, revisit beneficiary designations and tax planning.  In addition, he said same sex couples who are not yet married should also consider if pre-nuptial agreement is appropriate.
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