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Supreme Court Decisions Mean Gay Couples Can Now Marry in California and Enjoy Federal Benefits

Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings in June have cleared the way for legal same-sex marriage in California and that those legally married couples will now be able to enjoy the same federal benefits as same sex couples.

In the first ruling - Windsor v. United States - the Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and that same-sex couples who marry in states where gay marriage is recognized are entitled to the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The states recognizing same-sex marriage currently include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. It is also legal in Washington, D.C.

In the second ruling - Hollingsworth v. Perry - the Supreme Court ruled to vacate a Ninth Circuit Court decision that then left in place a lower court ruling barring the enforcement of Prop 8. The court found that Prop 8 supporters had no standing to bring suit in federal court, thereby clearing the way for legal same-sex marriage in California.

These two rulings can mean far-reaching changes for married gay couples in California when it comes to estate planning, so consulting with an Irvine estate planning attorney should be a priority.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.

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