"I take the time to listen and explain your options. Planning becomes a relaxed, informative experience." - Suzette M. Alfonso
Domestic Partner Matters
Many rights are automatically accorded to married couples, including tax breaks, inheritance rights, and survivorship rights. The State of Florida does not allow same-sex couples to marry. Nor does it recognize same-sex marriages which may be entered into in other states, such a Massachusetts and New York, or in other countries, such as Canada.
Despite the foregoing, there are various legal instruments that same-sex couples can implement to help protect their partners. All domestic partners in Florida, regardless of the size of their estates, should have the follow well-drafted items in place:
Last Will & Testament
Durable Power of Attorney
Designation of Healthcare Surrogate & Pre-Need Guardian
Additionally, it may be a good idea to utilize Revocable Living Trusts, and other estate planning tools, to maximize protection of your partner. Properly drafted and funded Trusts can help avoid probate, and keep your finances and financial situation from becoming public information.
Heterosexual married couples have the Florida Statutes in place to govern the equitable distribution of marital assets upon dissolution of marriage. Domestic Partners do not. Partners who purchase property together, or otherwise cohabitate, should consider executing a Cohabitation Agreement/Co-ownership Agreement, addressing how assets and liabilities will be distributed if the relationship ends. This Agreement can also address how expenses will be divided during the course of the relationship. A well-drafted Cohabitation Agreement may help keep your affairs private and eliminate or reduce attorneys fees and costs in the event of a break up.
Alfonso Law is happy to answer your questions and tailor a plan to suit your particular circumstances. Suzette M. Alfonso is a past Vice-President of the Tampa Bay Business Guild (www.tbbg.org), a co-founder of the Women's Professional Resource Network, was listed in the Watermark as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Orlando areas in 2004", and was voted The Gazette's "1999 Suncoast Select Winner" for providing excellence in service in the category of Attorney.
Call now to set up your FREE 30 minute initial consultation regarding a new Estate Planning, Probate, Domestic Partner Planning, or Elder Law matter. (813) 238-4529