Archive for July, 2011

Planning for the Married Same-sex Couple

New rights and benefits are now afforded same-sex couples with the recognition in New York of same-sex marriage as of June 24, 2011. However, because at this time the federal government and most other states do not recognize same-sex marriage, there are legal issues affecting same-sex couples they need to be aware of such as the following:

  1. Their New York income tax return will be filed as married but their federal income tax return will be filed as individuals;
  2. The survivor is not entitled to Social Security death benefits;
  3. The value of a partner’s health insurance coverage will be taxed at the federal level as income to the employee.
  4. States not recognizing same-sex marriage will not recognize the New York marriage;
  5. A child born to one partner will not be considered the child of the other partner in the non-recognition states and at the federal level unless there has been an adoption by the second partner.

Same-sex couples should seek advice on these and other matters in order to plan appropriately.