Hackensack, New Jersey (PRWEB) July 26, 2013
Beacon Wealth Management’s Founder and CEO Mark S. Germain recently added the Accredited Domestic Partnership AdvisorSM or ADPA® to his list of professional credentials. He already holds the Certified Financial Planner, or CFP® designation, and holds an MBA degree.
This certification is granted by the College For Financial Planning and requires a rigorous course of study encompassing wealth transfers, federal taxation, retirement planning, and planning for financial and medical end-of-life needs for domestic partners.
"We already serve many same-sex couples, but this new designation demonstrates our commitment to serving them comprehensively with cutting-edge expertise," Germain said. Germain’s certification coincided with U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to nullify a key component (Section 3) of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the United States v. Windsor case. The majority 5-4 opinion held that DOMA amounts to an unconstitutional deprivation of a person’s liberty as protected by the Fifth Amendment. This means Federal tax, estate, and employee benefit rights will be accorded to same-sex marriages in the 13 states that recognize same-sex marriages.
The ruling did require that the remaining states permit same-sex marriages, however. And by leaving DOMA’s Section 2 intact, the Court did not require states that do not recognize same-sex marriages to honor those conducted in states that do. That may change, however, as additional litigation and regulatory actions from the Obama Administration unfold. The 13 states that permit same-sex marriage are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, and the District of Columbia.
"Under Federal tax law, same-sex couples in states that recognize such marriages are now entitled to the same treatment as their heterosexual counterparts, but even with the body blow to DOMA, many same sex couples are still confused and unclear what it means to them," states Germain. "From filing taxes to estate planning, it’s a whole new ballgame."
Germain recommends that same-sex couples begin step by step to take advantage of the ruling. Maintaining good financial records is an important start. With those in hand, the most basic place to take advantage of the ruling is with estate planning. "Sit down with your advisor for a full review of your will, trust, powers of attorney, health care proxy, and living will for medical instructions," Germain advises. Many same-sex couples will be filing their federal taxes jointly for the first time, which may also require professional guidance," he adds.
About Beacon Wealth Management:
Beacon Wealth Management, LLC is an independent, fee-based registered investment advisory firm based in Hackensack, New Jersey. Beacon advises clients on life’s financial decisions and acts as their personal CFO. The firm offers financial planning, investment management, tax planning, and estate planning for heterosexual and same-sex couples. For more information please visit: http://www.beaconwealthmanagement.com.