Charles Schwab recently hosted a presentation and discussion, "To Have & To Hold: Same-Sex Marriage After Obergefell v. Hodges," at Charles Schwab's Michigan Avenue branch.
The event was one of a number of Out & Equal Chicagoland's year-round Citywide Pride presentations and networking events hosted by Chicago area companies and organizations.
"Out & Equal Chicagoland promotes our Citywide Pride events to LGBT, HR and diversity and inclusion professionals," said Jim Huberty, chair of Out & Equal Chicagoland. "Citywide Pride events focus on three thinglearning about topics of interest to LGBT people, networking and leadership development."
Ray Koenig, Esq. ( Clark Hill PLC partner specializing in estate, trust and guardianship litigation ) and Tom Franklin ( CPA and principal, Thomas H. Franklin & Associates, LLC ) served as the event's presenters.
Following words of welcome by Christopher Grozev ( vice-president/financial consultant, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ) and an introduction by Brennan Miller ( vice-president and branch manager, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Michigan Ave. and Lincoln Park locations ), Koenig and Franklin told the approximately 40 people in attendance about the legal and financial impacts of the U. S. Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision on same-sex couples and their families.
Koenig focused on the legal implications of same-sex couples who decide to get married. He spoke about the 12 year journey that lead up to the Obergefell decision this past June that legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
"Every state has to issue marriage licenses to two people of the same sex and recognize marriage licenses that are issued by other states. Other states in this context mean other countries as well," said Koenig.
Koenig noted that, along with the right to get married anywhere in the country, same-sex couples also have access to the same public benefits that opposite-sex couples have including the Family and Medical Leave Act, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare and Social Security.
Along with those public benefits; Koenig explained that same-sex couples should be treated the same as opposite-sex couples in terms of private-sector benefits including health insurance, retirement and adoption and surrogacy.
Koenig said it's important to meet with an attorney and an accountant before getting married because in some cases it might not be financially beneficial for couples to get married. He also noted that estate planning in the form of a last will and testament, powers of attorney for healthcare and property and in some cases a trust is vital for married and unmarried couples as well as single people to ensure that one's financial interests will be taken care of in case of incapacity or death.
Franklin spoke about the financial impact on married same-sex couples including estate and gift tax rules and the two types ( with highly limited exceptions ) of filing statusesmarried filing jointly or married filing separately.
As for filing taxes jointly or separately, Franklin noted that every couple's situation is unique depending on many factors including how much money they make and the distribution of earnings between both people. Franklin explained that before a couple marries they should seek out a tax professional to determine if they will receive a marriage penalty or benefit.
A Q&A session followed the presentation.
See www.outandequal.org/resources/community/regional-affiliates/chicagoland for more information .