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Three recent federal court rulings have struck down the major provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the issue of same-sex marriage appears to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the first ruling Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that a key provision of DOMA that denied tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

In the second decision on DOMA, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to overturn an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel that found California’s Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Sponsors of the ban have said that they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court for a review.

In the most recent ruling, the Southern District of New York struck down a portion of DOMA in Windsor v. United States, a case involving estate taxes. The court ruled that the provision denying equal federal benefits to gay married couples violates the equal protection clause.

Estate planning tools can be used today to benefit same-sex partners who wish to protect and pass on assets to each other. An Irvine estate planning attorney can provide same-sex partners with guidance on available resources.

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.