Gift Planning and Same-Sex Marriage | Sharpe Group
Posted August 17th, 2015

Gift Planning and Same-Sex Marriage

Male wedding couple topper

by Jon Tidd

Twenty years ago, there were two groups of donors: marrieds and unmarrieds. Today there are two groups of donors: marrieds and unmarrieds. The difference is that today the number of potential married donors has been increased significantly by two recent Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage. The bottom line is that all the gift planning opportunities and advantages available to traditional married couples are now available to same-sex married couples, everywhere in the United States.

The question is, what are the gift planning opportunities and advantages specific to married couples? That’s a question having a rather elaborate answer. Here are a few examples:

  • A husband and wife together may create a charitable remainder trust (CRT). Two or more unmarrieds (say, two domestic partners) may not.
  • If wife creates a CRT just for husband, she makes a gift to husband for federal gift tax purposes, but the gift qualifies for the federal gift tax marital deduction. The marital deduction is not allowed to an individual in a civil union or domestic partnership.
  • Gift annuities can be trickier for marrieds than for unmarrieds. As an example, suppose husband uses appreciated stock to set up a gift annuity just for wife. No problem, right? Husband gets a marital deduction, right? The problem is, husband realizes a capital gain that he can’t spread over wife’s “life expectancy”.

There’s a lot more to know about gift planning for marrieds, most of which will be foreign to many same-sex marrieds, who never faced such issues before. We’ll continue to write about this subject and delve deeper. Be sure and subscribe for updates to this blog so you won’t miss out on those. Click here to download our free white paper “Gift Planning for Same-Sex Marrieds” for more information.

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    1. I am so sorry, Ashley. I am just now seeing this. Yes, I’ll be glad to send the white paper to you. I’ll get that to you ASAP! — Teri Sullivan, Marketing Director

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