In 2013, the Federal Government struck down a law that prevented the Government from recognizing same sex marriages. It was still banned in thirteen states, including the state of Georgia. With recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that allows for same sex marriages, the only victory won wasn’t in the wedding aisle. A slew of financial benefits will come out of this for same sex couples. Here are five financial wins for LBGT couples.
- Inheritance- Generally, when you die, everything will transfer from one spouse to another with a legally recognized marriage with the exception of ‘named beneficiaries’ within contracts such as life insurance and IRA accounts. This should help same sex couples deal with having to write odd wording in wills and trust to do work arounds within various states.
- Social Security- Same sex couples who were not recognized in those thirteen states could now see even bigger benefits from Social Security. The key here as with married heterosexual couples is to maximize out the spousal benefit if one spouse earns more than another.
- Health Benefits- Most of the larger companies (about 2/3rds) have recognized same couple partnerships when it comes to health insurance. With the passage of this ruling, same sex couples should be able to get all of the same health benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy today.
- Medical Decisions- Depending on the state you live in, certain states would not have recognized these partners as being able to make medical decisions for their spouse. This ruling is going to make it easier to be involved as a medical durable power of attorney and financial power of attorney.
- Income Taxes- For couples in the State of Georgia that had to file two individual tax returns, their income tax preparation bill will go down now that they can file one unified tax return (those that are married).