June 23, 2013
Janis Cowhey, Tax & Business Services Partner, Quoted in Investment News Article "Cases Affect Planning for Gays"
By Liz Skinner
The Supreme Court could throw out the federal law that bans gay marriage as early as today in one of two decisions due from the nation's top court in the coming days involving same-sex marriage.
The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that a marriage must be between one man and one woman, makes it impossible for same-sex couples who were legally married by their state to receive federal income and estate tax deductions that married couples enjoy, as well as other benefits, such as Social Security spousal and survivor benefits.
“For couples who got married in one of the 12 states [that allow same-sex marriage] or D.C., they could now do estate planning like heterosexual couples,” said Janis Cowhey McDonagh, an estate and trust specialist, and East Coast leader of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender practice for Marcum LLP.