Windsor Decision re Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”)

August 16, 2013

Last month the Supreme Court of the United States struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), finding that defining marriage as between one man and one woman violates the equal protection provisions of the 5th Amendment.

From a tax and estate planning perspective, the Windsor decision has presented us with significant opportunity.  However, this opportunity has not come without attendant risks.  More now than ever, it is critical to know your client, and perhaps to ask some additional questions that might not have been necessary to ask in the past.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to Mr. Becker or a member of our Business Development Group at 302.658.7214 or

Commonwealth Trust Company is pleased to provide this article as a guide. Commonwealth Trust Company is not engaged in the practice of law and is not providing legal advice by the provision of these materials. Commonwealth Trust Company recommends that clients seek the opinion of their attorney regarding the specific legal and tax issues addressed in this article.