Importance of a Will For Same Sex Couples

By January 6, 2015No Comments

Wills for same sex couplesIn the last few posts, I described what happens to assets if one dies without a Will. Essentially, the short answer is that the State of Florida will determine who inherits your hard earned assets. However, the State of Florida might have a very different view of where your assets are going than you do. As the law is currently written, your family will get the assets under a statutory decision tree (Please see the posts regarding the distribution of assets or speak to an attorney if you have any questions).

One group of individuals who is particularly undeserved under the statutory distribution of assets when they die without a will is same sex couples (or the lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, transgender, and questioning community) . As you may be aware, same sex couples do not receive the same benefits of property ownership, taxation, etc. under the under both federal and state law (For a more in depth explanation, the Florida Bar Journal has an excellent primer)

Importantly, for the gay and lesbian communities, your partner will inherit nothing unless you have a valid will. High net worth same sex couples may even have a higher tax burden unless a proper estate is planned (and even then, there are less available tools to reduce taxation than for opposite sex couples).

Thus, it is extremely important for any individual, but especially same sex couples to have a valid will. If a same sex individual dies without a will, his or her partner gets nothing. Instead, the State of Florida decides who gets what.  Fortunately, a simple cost effective will can easily avoid these issues.

Learn how Weidner Law can help you with your Will document preparations