NEW YORK (MainStreet)When the Supreme Court gave same-sex couples the same rights to federal benefits as heterosexual couples this past week, they were suddenly enabled to reduce or eliminate estate taxes.
"Same-sex couples can now create estate plans that are designed to reduce estate taxes but there are traps," said Robert F. Klueger, a noted estate planning attorney. "If a couple is married, one same-sex spouse may become liable for the debts of the other."
When asset protection is the paramount objective, a same-sex couple should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement that removes them from community property.
"As in most contexts, planning works better if it is done earlier rather than later," said Klueger.
"That's a huge increase from even a year ago and one that opens up an array of new opportunities," said Stephen Murray, Here Media's senior vice president for marketing and brand strategy.
The report found that 45% of those who took the survey are getting married in a state where civil unions or domestic partnerships are legally recognized while 40% will do so in a state where they are not recognized.