Married same-sex couples in 50 states and the District of Columbia are now eligible for more than 1,100 Federal benefits and protections denied under the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act.
A key provision of the federal law, which withheld benefits from gay couples who had been lawfully married in those states that permit it, was struck down on June 26, 2015 by the Supreme Court. And though property rights are set at the state level, the ruling has bearing on a number of real estate–related matters that involve federal law.
The ruling may influence how couples decide to hold title on a property. It will affect the calculation of estate taxes owed when a spouse dies and how much capital gain is exempt from taxes in the sale of a home that is owned in the name of only one member of the couple.