If you are a lesbian or gay individual in a same-sex relationship and do not live in one of the few states that recognize and afford legal rights protection to same-sex couples, then you need a Florida Will. If you die “intestate” (without a Florida Will) your surviving partner and possibly your children will have no legal right to inherit any part of your estate.
If children are involved, then being specific in your will is crucial, especially if one partner is not a legally recognized parent of that child. Not only will you need to include your desires as to the disposition of your assets, but you will need to specify who you want to act as guardian to any minor children. Your children need legal protection, and the way to ensure that they are raised according to your wishes is to provide for them in your Florida Will.
For gay and lesbian individuals who die without a Florida Will (or a Florida Revocable Trust or other legal means for transferring your property), your property will be distributed under your state’s “intestate” descent and distribution laws. In Florida, the inheritance laws do not recognize gay and lesbian relationships. Therefore, unless you have a Florida Will or other valid legal document, there is no protection for your surviving partner.
When you have just lost a loved one such as your partner, domestic partner, same-sex partner, the LAST thing you want to deal with is unnecessary legal issues, and often times, distressed and belligerent family members of the deceased.
Preparing for the future with a Florida Will and Florida Estate Planning alleviate unnecessary complications, as well as a potential legal show down with others.
Take the time to put your wishes in writing and have Florida Estate Planning documents prepared. Only you can protect your rights as well as those of your partner and children. Contact a Jacksonville, Florida, LGBT friendly Law Firm and talk to an Estate Planning Attorney.