Same-sex couples and unmarried partners are confronted with many legal uncertainties due to the varying degrees of protection afforded them by the federal and state governments. Changes in state and federal law create a patchwork of protection for these couples.
Comprehensive planning is essential to protect inheritance rights, property distribution, and medical and final arrangement decisions. Tax planning and retitling are necessary to avoid unintended consequences.
Bodies of Law that affect unmarried but committed individuals:
Domestic Relations Laws
What Benefits does marriage (as recognized by the federal government) confer?
Tenancy by the Entireties
Pensions and Social Security
Spousal Elective Share
Other Rights Include Legal Standing in Personal Injury Cases
Loss of Consortium
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress/Wrongful Death
Spousal Privileges (Testimony & Communication)
Family Medical Leave Act
Health Care Rules/Guardianship
What tools do I employ, as an Estate Planning Attorney?
Life Alliance Agreements - non-marital agreement between unmarried persons
Estate Planning Strategies
Comprehensive Will package
Comprehensive Trust package
Until the laws change, it’s important to plan accordingly so that your loved ones will be protected, and your wishes carried out.