Gay Marriage and Legal Rights in Florida

You may be legally married in one of states that allow gay marriage, but if you live in the state of Florida you are not considered married under Florida law. What does this mean for you and your same-sex spouse? The non-recognition of your otherwise legal marriage means that there are no inherent rights of inheritance or property ownership.

It means that you are viewed as a “stranger” to your husband or wife. So, if you are injured or become ill and are incapacitated, your spouse will NOT be able to make medical treatment decisions for you and may not even be able to visit you in the hospital.  Living as a gay married couple in Florida means that if you or your spouse becomes incapacitated, neither of you will be able to act on behalf of the other in banking, financial, real estate or business matters.

Your solution (other than waiting for Florida to catch up with the other 19 states and Washington, D.C.) is to consult with Estate Planning Attorney, Patricia H. Davis, at pdavis@jaxlawattorney.com or 904.614-3670 to learn how the preparation of legal documents, will protect you and your same-sex spouse from the non-recognition of your marriage in Florida. Documents such as your Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and Declaration Naming Preneed Guardian are among the documents that you need to give any type of recognition or authority to your spouse. Don’t wait until you have an event that warrants these documents, because it will be too late.  Act now to protect yourself and your spouse.

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