Informed, compassionate and discreet elder law and estate solutions
The Charles Law Offices
Largo Office Wells Fargo Building
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 518
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: 727-683-1483
Toll Free: 866-499-3322
Clearwater Office Hodusa Towers
28870 U.S. Highway 19 North,
Suite 300
Clearwater, FL 33761
St. Petersburg Office Crossroads Office Center
1700 66th St. N.,
Suite 209
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

Text Size:

Same-Sex Couples in Florida Could Still Face Estate Planning Complications

Same-sex couples in Florida rejoiced in January when the state became the 36th in the nation to recognize same-sex marriage. Now, they can enjoy a lot of the estate planning and tax benefits that are available to heterosexual couples. However, there are still a few state and federal laws that could make some elements of estate planning challenging for same-sex couples.

The biggest complication is the prevalence of “snowbirds” in Florida. Many people live in Florida only part of the year, making their residence in other states during the spring and summer. If the other state where they live does not recognize same-sex marriage, it could be harder to transfer property of a deceased spouse into one’s name. Certain health care and end-of-life decisions could also be affected.

Federal benefits are another issue that same-sex couples must navigate. Although the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act two years ago, federal agencies still have some flexibility in terms of how they interpret that decision. Therefore, couples that live in multiple states may have challenges to overcome if an agency chooses not to recognize their marriage because they spend part of each year in a state that does not yet recognize same-sex marriage.

This could all become irrelevant in a few months, as the Supreme Court is expected to review the constitutionality of same-sex marriage within the coming months, which could lead to a federal decision on the matter. But for now, same-sex couples who face these complications are encouraged to seek legal guidance.

Contact the Florida estate planning attorneys with the Charles Law Offices for more information on how you can overcome these challenges.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


Contact Form

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.