Obergefell v. Hodges, decided by the Supreme Court in 2015, legitimized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The ruling conferred on same-sex couples all the same inheritance and decision-making rights that opposite-sex partners enjoy, also giving them the same protections regarding survivor benefits under retirement plans, Social Security, etc. Thus, the Obergefell decision greatly uncomplicated estate planning for same-sex couples. Prior to it, attorneys had to establish a variety of work-arounds to achieve the estate planning goals of such couples.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade this past week, some in the legal community worry that the constitutional right to same-sex marriage may be in jeopardy in the future. There is no reason for married same-sex couples to panic, but currently unmarried same-sex couples should be aware of the possible implications. Although Justice Alito noted that the Roe ruling applies narrowly to abortion only, a concurring opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas is concerning. Thomas states that court rulings regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage should be re-considered now that the federal right to abortion is revoked, and that it and other rulings “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.”
If you are presently in a committed, same-sex relationship and are considering marriage, be aware that in the future you may not have the same rights to marriage you currently enjoy. It is prudent for you to establish a sound estate plan now, so that you and your partner are protected. Call The Karp Law Firm to schedule a consultation at 561-625-1100.