With the Supreme Court’s decision today recognizing marriage equality, can recommend a good book that will help us learn all the benefits that are available to me and my wife? Thank you very much.
Terry Says: We wrote about this in The New Love Deal (link to Amazon.com to purchase) — but basically, you and your spouse now have all the privileges of every other married couple. That is, your spouse can get spousal benefits from Social Security, will be recognized as your spouse in medical situations (such as access to visit in the hospital or access to your medical records), and will get spousal treatment in estate planning (which basically means you can leave everything to each other without estate tax — although at the death of the second spouse, all assets over $5.35 million are taxable for federal estate tax and state estate tax purposes.
Those are just a few of the marriage benefits. You can get spousal pension benefits, offering coverage to a surviving spouse (at slightly reduced benefits to the retired worker). You can get similar treatment with annuities and other financial investments. And you can file joint state income tax returns in every state — something that was not possible if your state did not recognize your marriage which took place in another state.
Just a reminder that because you are married, it doesn’t automatically solve all financial problems! You might still want a postnuptial agreement, which we describe in the book — and you still have to deal with your separate money personalities, deciding how to save, spend, and invest for the future.