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Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples in Tennessee

Posted on: December 17th, 2013
nashville same-sex estate planningAlthough a 2006 amendment to Tennessee’s Constitution defines marriage between a man and a woman, the federal ruling in the United States v. Windsor in 2013 now requires all same-sex couples to be recognized for federal purposes. Although same-sex marriages are not currently legal if ceremonies take place in Tennessee, couples who are legally married in a jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal (both in domestic and international areas) may now take advantage of several tax benefits regardless of the state in which they live.

As a result of the Windsor ruling, same-sex couples in Tennessee may be eligible for federal tax reimbursements under a three-year statute of limitations. Filing amended returns may be complicated, and to ensure appropriate reimbursements are calculated and documents are filed properly, check with our Tennessee tax lawyers.

Several cases addressing estate planning in Tennessee for same-sex couples are pending. One case, Tanco v. Halsam, was filed during October 2013 in Nashville challenging equal protection and due process under state law. The forthcoming ruling of this case and several others may bring important changes for estate planning and distribution, such as:
  • How real estate titles may be held
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for same-sex couples in Tennessee
  • Tennessee spousal elective shares and spousal intestate shares
  • Inheritance taxes (until 2016)
Check with our Tennessee estate planning lawyers to review the current retirement, insurance, survivor benefits, health care coverage, and other benefits that gay and lesbian couples in Tennessee are now legally entitled to, like a spousal rollover for an IRA and federal estate tax exclusions. For updates on other legislation changes affecting tax and estate planning, follow our estate planning attorneys on Facebook and Twitter
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