We are very pleased to share that David Altro and Matt Altro were asked to prepare a special for The Globe and Mail, which was published on November 30, 2018. Their article titled “Reasons to celebrate: equality for same-sex snowbirds with property in the U.S.” provides insight into several reasons that married same-sex Canadians should celebrate when it comes to owning U.S. property in 2018. The article discusses recent positive changes for same-sex married couples resulting from the rulings of U.S. v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges court cases. These changes lead to new and improved treatment for Canadian same-sex married snowbirds owning U.S property with regards to U.S. estate tax, U.S. income tax, probate, and incapacity.
To read the article you can see it in part below, or click here to view it on The Globe and Mail’s website.
Reasons to celebrate: equality for same-sex snowbirds with property in the U.S.
David Altro and Matt Altro
The Globe and Mail
November 30, 2018
The 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of U.S. v. Windsor was instantly historic for same-sex couples. Prior to Windsor, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a U.S. federal law, did not legally recognize same-sex marriage. As such, married same-sex couples did not receive the same federal tax and estate planning opportunities as heterosexual married couples.
While the Windsor decision changed federal law to recognize same-sex marriage, it did not overturn the section of DOMA that permitted U.S. states to enforce their own rules regarding same-sex marriage.
However, in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court wrote a landmark decision in its ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges. This decision effectively overturned all state laws that banned same-sex marriage. The decision also forced all states to officially recognize the legality of same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.
Although Canadian common-law marriages between same-sex partners are still unrecognized in the U.S., there is much to celebrate about the positive changes resulting from the Windsor and Obergefell rulings. Legally married same-sex couples living in the U.S. and Canada now enjoy the same legal protections and benefits at both the federal and state levels under U.S. law.