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What are the Legal Benefits Associated with Marriage?

Marriage is more than just a new phase of your relationship with your partner—it is also a legally binding contract that affords you certain legal benefits often unavailable to single people.

The following are a few examples of those benefits and protections you will receive as a married person:

  •  Tax benefits: Married people can file joint federal and state income tax returns, which may offer some savings. They are also able to create what’s known as a “family partnership” under federal tax law, providing a distribution of business income among immediate family members.
  • Estate planning: You have the right to inherit a share of your spouse’s estate and will receive an exemption from estate and gift taxes for any property you leave or give to your spouse. You may also create certain kinds of trusts only used for married couples, including QDOT trusts, GTIP trusts and marital deduction trusts.
  • Government benefits: The federal government provides Social Security, disability and Medicare benefits for spouses. You may also receive veterans’ and military benefits on behalf of your spouse.
  • Medical benefits: You can visit your spouse in an intensive care unit during restricted visiting hours and can make medical decisions on behalf of your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated.
  • Employment benefits: You may obtain insurance benefits through your spouse’s employer and take family leave to care for your spouse if he or she becomes ill. You can receive wages, retirement benefits and workers’ compensation benefits for a deceased spouse, and take bereavement leave if your spouse or a close relative of your spouse passes away.
  • Consumer benefits: You and your spouse may receive family rates for all types of insurance. You will also receive discounts on tuition, along with various other discounts and incentives only offered to families and/or married couples.

These are just a few of the many benefits associated with marriage. For more information, contact an experienced family law attorney with Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.