As of 12:01 AM today, January 6, same sex couples can now get married in the state of Florida. I have written about estate planning for same sex couples before, but now this changes everything (in a good way). Before planning for a same sex couple involved using documents and contracts to establish a contractual relationship between an unmarried couple, in which they received certain inheritance and other rights. It wasn’t the fact that the couple was of the same sex that was important, but that there was no marriage.
Now, estate planning for same-sex married couples is no different from estate planning for any other married couples. That’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for me because it simplifies that work that I have to do. No more keeping two sets of rules for different types of couples (of course there are still some unmarried couples who engage in planning). It’s certainly good for the married couples because they now have rights, both by statute and the Florida constitution that they did not have before.
These rights include intestacy, homestead, and elective share.
Congratulations to all the newly married couples.