The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling, finding as unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage for federal law purposes as between one man and one woman, will have a significant impact on estate planning, raising many questions for practitioners advising same-sex couples. As Michael J. Jones and Michelle L. Ward aptly express in the headline of their article on p. 39, this ruling is a “Game Changer.” Their article explains the issues that some of your clients will now need to address regarding their retirement accounts. This piece, along with “Refunds and Assessments,” by George D. Karibjanian, p. 44, is part of a Special Report we’ve included this month to help you sort through the issues your same-sex clients and their relatives now face. George analyzes a client’s ability to get a refund for gift and estate taxes paid before same-sex marriages were recognized. He also discusses whether the Internal Revenue Service will now be permitted to retroactively assess tax deficiencies for same-sex married couples.   

This month’s issue also includes our Investments Committee Report. The articles in this section help us understand some new developments in the investments arena. “Socially Responsible Investing,” p. 49, by Edward J. Finley II and Andrew R. King, shows how this once marginalized area is now at the forefront of many investment decisions. “How to Invest in the Emerging Markets Now,” by Gregory D. Singer, p. 56, provides insights into what to expect from these markets. Finally, in “Visible and Hidden Risks,” p. 60, Andrew M. Parker guides us through the world of rising interest rates and opines on where the rates are headed, as well as what impact they will have on the financial markets. And, to supplement the articles in the Committee Report, the authors agreed to come in and discuss their topics in more detail. You can view these video discussions on our website, http://videos.wealthmanagement.com/video/Greg-Singer, http://videos.wealthmanagement.com/video/Andrew-Parker and http://videos.wealthmanagement.com/video/Edward-Finley.