Is marriage really about more than just love? Are there financial and legal reasons to get married?

Yes!  A lot of couples think that getting married is just a formality and they don’t need to do it.  But marriage has significant financial and legal benefits that people often don’t stop to think about. Right now it’s Pride Month and the fact that same sex couples can legally get married is very important for reasons that extend beyond basic equality.

What are some of the financial advantages to being married?

Married couples have a number of financial advantages that includes the ability to rollover a spouse’s IRA and any other tax deferred assets, receive their spouse’s social security benefits, and even significant gift and estate tax benefits. When people choose not to get married because it’s just a legal institution, they miss out on these benefits.

What are the current gift and estate tax benefits?

Spouses can transfer unlimited assets between them. This means that there are no gift taxes when money is transferred from one spouse to another.  If individuals are not married, however, there are taxes above the gift tax exemption which in 2024 is currently $18,000.  For couples that choose not to marry, they have potential gift taxes by giving money to their partner.  In addition, when a couple is married, there are no estate taxes when the first spouse passes away.  On top of that benefit, with proper planning, spouses can double the estate tax exemption to their beneficiaries.

What are some of the legal advantages to marriage?

Married couples have priority to make each other’s legal and financial decisions in the probate court.  They also have hospital visitation rights and funeral and burial rights that unmarried couples don’t have.  Furthermore, if an unmarried partner passes away with no will or trust, then their significant other receives nothing under the probate court laws.  If the couple is married, however, the spouse can inherit up to 100% of the assets under the laws. Common law marriage isn’t recognized in many states, including Michigan and Florida.  That means that if partners are not married and one of them passes away, it can have devastating financial and legal consequences.

If you are married, are there also creditor advantages?

If a married couple owns a home together, then it is a protected asset from creditors in the event that one spouse is sued.  In other words, unless a creditor has a claim against both husband and wife, the marital home cannot be attached by them.  This is a unique advantage to marriage.

Where can people go for more information about this?

If you or your loved one live in Michigan or Florida, we can help.  Just email at contact@daniellemayoras.com or message me here.

Danielle Mayoras is a legal expert, author and attorney.  She is the co-author of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! and a legal media expert, and keynote speaker.  You can find her on Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.  For all of the latest legal news and helpful legal tips, advice and information, be sure to check out her blog.




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    Danielle Mayoras is an on-camera legal expert, attorney, author, and keynote speaker. As a respected media source, she has lent her expertise and analysis to hundreds of media sources, including The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, People, Forbes, Kiplinger, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, among many others. She has appeared on Access Hollywood, the Rachael Ray Show, The Insider, CNN, CNN International, NBC Nightly News, Forbes, The Hallmark Channel, ABC’s Live Well Network, CBS, FOX, PBS, and NBC affiliates. Danielle also serves as a legal analyst for CBS News Detroit.

    In addition to co-authoring the best-selling book Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, Danielle has been a contributor to Forbes and other outlets. Danielle has also appeared as a TV host and legal expert on multiple celebrity documentaries for the REELZ Channel. When not doing media, Danielle helps clients in her thriving law firm and serves as a keynote speaker delighting audiences across the country.