Edie Windsor is owed $638,000 plus interest

  @CNNMoney June 28, 2013: 9:14 AM ET
edith windsor victory

Edith Windsor's lawyers say their client is due about $70,000 in interest alone after winning her landmark case.


The Supreme Court decision this week striking down the Defense of Marriage Act means a lot of things to a lot of people.

But to Edith Windsor, the plaintiff who brought the case, the landmark ruling also means she will finally get back the $638,000 in estate tax payments she had to make to the IRS and to New York State after her spouse -- Thea Spyer -- died in 2009.

Normally, surviving spouses are entitled to inherit the estate of their late husband or wife tax free.

But because DOMA only recognized marriage between a man and a woman as legitimate for the purposes of federal law, same-sex spouses have not been entitled to the same privilege.

Related: Ruling is 'a huge relief' for couples

As a result, Windsor had to pay the federal government roughly $363,000, as well as $275,000 to New York state, where estate tax rules track the federal ones.

That money has been in limbo since Windsor sued to get it back in November 2010. Her case first went before a federal trial court judge in New York, then to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Same-sex couple: 'Freedom is priceless'

Windsor will also be paid interest on her refunds. Paul, Weiss, the law firm that represents her, estimates she will receive about $45,000 in interest on her federal refund and $25,000 on her New York State refund.

The other good news for the 83-year-old Windsor? Her lawyers won't be getting a cut because Paul, Weiss took the case pro bono.

Exactly when she'll receive her checks isn't clear yet, although the law firm says it expects it will be in a "reasonable amount of time." To top of page

Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
CNNMoney Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.