A decedent’s retirement death benefits must be paid to her same-sex spouse.

Two women were married in Canada but resided in Illinois. Illinois has not legalized same-sex marriage, but it considers same-sex marriages performed in other states to be civil unions.

When one spouse died, her spouse sought death benefits from the retirement plan of the decedent’s employer. The decedent’s parents also requested payment from the employer.

A district court ruled in favor of the spouse.

(Source: The Kiplinger Tax Letter 08/16/2013)