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MISSION: To combine business development, leadership and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT Community and those who support equality for all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recent DOMA Ruling Can Cause Financial Confusion

By Dale Terwedo, Owner, Terwedo Financial Services

I started Terwedo Financial Services in 1983 and am one of few Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisors (ADPA®) Designees in the state of Washington. I’ve been working with LGBT couples for several years now and I’ve realized that most people have the same basic financial needs—they want to provide for themselves, their families, and others that they care about. Same-sex couples tend to require a unique process to do that, even with the recent changes in legislature.

As you know, the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.  This means that married same-sex couples now have a right to the same federal benefits enjoyed by other married couples. It is important to note, however, that this ruling impacted only Section 3. Each state still has its own right to decide whether or not it will recognize marriages for state legal purposes, adding to confusion and increasing the need for further guidance.

The repeal of Section 3 of DOMA grants same-sex married couples access to perhaps more than 1,100 federal benefits and protections. From a financial planning perspective, some of the key areas to review include:
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Social Security
  • Gifting
  • Marital Deductions
  • Grantor Retained Income Trusts (GRITs)
  • Property and Account Titling
  • Protective Claims for Tax Refunds
Although Section 3 of DOMA has been struck down, don’t expect to see smooth sailing from here on out.  The full impact of these decisions has yet to be determined as Federal and state governments as well as the IRS will need to issue further guidance to same-sex spouses and their financial planners before the full effects of the repeal will be realized.  Although most will likely be positive for same-sex couples, it’s important to keep in mind that they will likely require major changes to financial, tax and estate plans.

We’ve put together a free guide at that provides more information about how the DOMA ruling affects your financial, estate, and tax planning.

Disclosure: Securities and advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC.  Terwedo Financial Services, LLC is not affiliated with FSC Securities Corporation.

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