1. File joint income taxes.
2. Create a family partnership under federal tax laws.
3. Create a marital life estate trust.
4. Receive spouse’s social security disability, unemployment, veteran’s pension, and public assistance benefits.
5. Receive a share of your deceased spouse’s estate under intestate succession laws.
6. Create an estate tax marital deduction.
7. Sue a third party for your spouse’s wrongful death and loss of consortium.
8. Receive family rates for insurance.
9. Avoid deportation of a non-citizen spouse.
10. Enter hospital intensive care units, jails, and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.
11. Make medical and financial decisions about your spouse in the event of disability.
12. Claim the marital communications privilege.