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Florida Domestic Partnership Bill Hearing

Posted on: March 29th, 2013
miami estate planning attorneyThe Florida Legislature will review legalizing domestic partnership in 2013. Currently county-specific laws regulate the rights of same-sex, unmarried couples in Florida. Non-traditional families face a unique set of challenges when it comes to their legal protections related to estate planning. There are many counties that recognize domestic partnerships in Florida, such as Miami-Dade and Broward, but residents in about half the state have limited legal rights unless they implement estate planning documents with a Florida attorney.

For unmarried couples in most of Florida, healthcare surrogate forms are the only way for them to have hospital visitation rights and make important decisions on each other’s behalf. Powers of attorney allow couples to designate each other with the authority to make decisions on financial, medical, or other matters should one partner become incapacitated.

What will the Florida domestic partnerships bill accomplish?
  • Any two individuals over the age of 18 could form a legal domestic partnership
  • The granting of funeral arrangement and hospital visitation rights
A surviving spouse and descendants of a married couple have inherent rights to real property and assets under Florida law. There are ways for unmarried couples to structure assets so that partners can ensure their family members receive assets according to their wishes. Couples in a domestic partnership may have children from previous relationships or adoptions. Creating a will and establishing powers of attorney are ways for unmarried couples in Florida to enjoy many of the same rights enjoyed by married couples. TrustCounsel’s Miami estate planning attorney will explain how existing and pending laws affect domestic partnerships so that couples have the tools they need to protect their loved ones’ futures.
(As of this writing, the hearing was delayed due to the senator’s health.)
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