Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Gerry W. Beyer (Texas Tech), Estate Planning Ramifications of Obergefell v. Hodges:
One year ago, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges holding that “same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.” Since then, an estimated 123,000 same-sex marriages have occurred bringing the total number of same-sex marriages in the United States to almost one-half million. The number of Texas same-sex marriages will be difficult to track because the government does not plan on keeping a separate count of same-sex marriage licenses. Nonetheless, with over three percent of Texans identifying themselves as gay or lesbian, it is of vital importance for estate planners to understand the current and potential future impact of same-sex marriage on estate planning in Texas.
This article provides a summary of the Obergefell decision and discusses potential ramifications including retroactivity with respect to common-law marriages and whether a child born during a same-sex marriage will be deemed the child of both spouses.