June 26, 2014
Nanette Lee Miller, Co-Leader of the LGBT Practice Group, Quoted in FoxBusiness Article, "Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage: DOMA a Year Later"
By Kathryn Buschman Vasel
It's been one year since the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, and for Holly Kylen, a Voya retirement coach and financial planner, it's been "an amazing year" both personally and professionally.
"If you ask any gay person today, what this feels like, it's our Rosa Park-type moment," says Kylen who married her wife earlier this year, and has seen an increase in same-sex couples seeking out financial advice.
In its 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor last summer, the country's highest court declared that gay couples married in states that recognize the union are entitled to the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.
The ruling means there is one set of rules for everyone, and there are good and bad consequences on couples' finances because of that, but it means everyone is playing the same game and allows everyone to plan for a more secure financial life," says with Nanette Lee Miller, head of the LGBT and non-traditional family practice group at accounting firm Marcum.
Determine the Most Advantageous Tax Status. Married same-sax couples can now file their taxes jointly at the federal level. Before the undoing of DOMA, many gay couples were filing multiple state and federal tax returns.
"This simplifies the tax-filing process for so many couples," says Lee Miller. "And means they are eligible for more deductions."
Estate Planning is Much Easier. Experts expect to see fewer families contesting wills as a result of the DOMA ruling.
"We tell all newly-married couples to do this," says Lee Miller. "If the person named as beneficiary isn't your spouse, the funds would be 100% taxable. If that account had $1 million in it, that would mean $300,00 would just go to taxes."