New Jersey's recognition of same-sex marriage has resulted in significant changes to the rights of same-sex couples. Married same-sex couples now have the same rights as all married couples. As a result, there are changes with retirement benefits and Individual Retirement Accounts ("IRA") and how they are taxed to beneficiaries that inherit these funds. The recognition of same sex marriage means that same-sex married couples have greater options when it comes to the inheritance of IRAs and most retirement benefits. It is important to note that in order for same-sex couples to have these different options, they must actually be married. A civil union or domestic partnership does not qualify as marriage for federal tax purposes.
By: Andrew Mackerer, Esq.; Pamela Quattrone, Esq.; and Daniel Del Collo, Esq.
When leaving an inheritance for a New Jersey loved one, it is important to make sure every detail has been handled. One recent story involving two brothers and a step-mother has proven to be a good example of why it's important to protect an inheritance. The brothers' father had remarried and when he unexpectedly passed away a short time after, it was determined his wife had not signed the appropriate documents needed to make the sons the beneficiaries of their father's 401(k).
Many people are interested in making sure that they develop a plan for what happens to their assets after they die. However, estate planning in New Jersey and elsewhere also needs to take retirement funds into consideration.