In a city where many residents’ wealth is wrapped up in their real estate, the ability to pass on a co-op, condo or townhouse to a surviving spouse without paying taxes is a significant benefit. But until this morning, even in New York—one of the handful of states in the country where same-sex marriage is legal—same-sex spouses were not exempted from federal inheritance taxes. Taxes that, when applied to a couple’s lifetime savings and particularly their home, could significantly reduce the value of an estate for the surviving spouse.
Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, surviving same-sex spouses will be able to inherit real estate and other property tax-free—one of the federal benefits that have long been extended to other married couples. Read More