Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal in All 50 States
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that individual states could not prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. According to a Gallup poll, the decision reflects the public opinion, with 60% of Americans supporting extending the same rights to same-sex... »
Same-Sex Couple's Attempt to Draw Up Wills and Assign Custody Lands Them in the Supreme Court
Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer's close call with an oncoming truck made them realize they needed to provide for each other, and their children. But their trip to a Detroit lawyer's office to draw up their wills and assign custody of their children brought grave news. The lawyer told the couple that... »
Unmarried and Intestate
My partner died without a will and his blood relatives are contesting my right to inherit from his estate. What should I do? Unfortunately, when a person dies without a will, the State writes one for them. This is called intestacy. The intestate scheme in New York provides for a "spouse"... »
Life Insurance Tax Pitfalls for Unmarried Couples
What are some of the issues that same-sex couples must consider when it comes to life insurance? Unmarried couples have additional concerns to consider when evaluating life insurance policies: income replacement, tax liabilities, and above all, the titling of policies, which can result in tax liabilities for the inheritor. However,... »
Joint Accounts and IRAs for Non-Married Persons
What is Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS) and how can it help us in our joint ownership? JWTROS is a specific type of joint ownership that ensures the surviving partner will be named sole owner of remaining funds upon the death of the first partner. Due to several... »
Same-Sex Marriage Update
There has been a rapid flurry of activity in the same-sex marriage equality front, bringing the total to 19 states that allow same-sex marriage to occur in their borders. In Oregon, a federal trial judge ruled that Oregon must allow same-sex couples to marry.  He rested his conclusion on the Constitution. Couples began... »
The Right to Donate Organs
When Rohn Neugebauer, an otherwise-healthy 48-year-old man, died suddenly of a heart attack on March 16, his family knew he wanted to donate his tissue and organs to someone in need. Just a few months earlier, he had co-hosted a fundraiser for a local organ donation organization, the Center... »