Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pennsylvania Court Retroactively Validates Same-Sex Marriage After Death of One Spouse

In what is apparently the first case of its kind, on Wednesday a Bucks County, Pennsylvania trial court retroactively validated a same-sex common law marriage.  As reported by the Doylestown Intelligencer, the decision allows the widowed Dr. Sabrina Maurer to recover spousal survivor benefits under two separate insurance policies, and allows her an inheritance tax refund.  Maurer and Dr. Kimberly Underwood were married in a 2001 Episcopal religious ceremony, even though same-sex marriages were not then recognized in Pennsylvania.  However common law marriages were recognized if they took place before 2005. Underwood died in 2013.  Same-sex marriages became legal in Pennsylvania in 2014.