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Uphill Battle for Gay Couples to Claim Benefits

May 29, 2012

Despite President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage, it hasn’t made it any easier for gay spouses to claim their partners’ retirement benefits or to receive the surviving spouse benefits under Social Security.

The Federal Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, specifically states that marriage must be between one man and one woman. As a result, same-sex couples can’t take advantage of the income tax benefits of a joint federal income tax filing or other important federal benefits. These include avoiding estate taxes when inheriting a spouse’s assets, giving gifts tax-free to spouses, receiving federal disaster aid benefits and others benefits.

Careful estate planning, however, can help gay couples plan for retirement, protect their assets and otherwise care for one another financially. The estate planning attorneys at CLDD&S, Annemarie Schreiber and Diana Anderson, are familiar with the best estate planning techniques for gay couples.


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