Thinking About States Where Gay Marriage Is Legal? Look Before You Leap!

There are now six states where same-sex couples can get married – New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Iowa (along with Washington, D.C.). Because of these seven locales, along with recent polls indicating a dramatic change in Americans’ attitudes toward gay marriage – and the President coming out in favor of it – gay, lesbian, and other non-traditional couples now have choices they never had before.

Some unmarried couples are now making the decision to move to one of these states…or, at least, get married there and then return home. To gays and lesbians and their partners, it might seem a pretty easy choice. But it’s not!

In fact, rushing off to get married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal – even if you plan to live there – can be fraught with complications you may have never considered.

For example, let’s say you’re a non-traditional couple in Florida who may be considering going to New York to get married. Your marriage will not be recognized in Florida. Accordingly, any rights and privileges accorded married couples here will not be available to you. (The Defense of Marriage Act {1996} does not allow states to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state.)

What does this mean to you? No Social Security from your partner’s death. No spousal, death, or survivor benefits. And no spousal Veteran’s benefits.

Also, marriage may afford your partner certain rights you may not have intended. For example, married couples are allowed to take a portion of a deceased mate’s estate, along with spousal support. And they may be given responsibility to make health-care decisions for each other. If you have children, that could become complicated.

If you’re part of a gay or lesbian couple – an aging couple – don’t rush into marriage!

Estate-planning can be complicated even in a traditional marriage or relationship. But if you’re in a non-traditional one, the stakes can be much higher.

Help is available, though.

At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we practice Elder Law. And over the past 33 years, we’ve provided comprehensive estate planning services for many gay, lesbian, and non-traditional couples, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset protection, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.

We know the way through the Elder Care Maze. And we’re just a phone call away.

Thinking About States Where Gay Marriage Is Legal? Look Before You Leap!

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Posted in Alice Reiter Feld, Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos, benefits, broward, elder law, elder law attorney, elder lw, estate planning, gay marriage, lgbt, resources, support, VA, veteran's benefits, Veteran; veteran's benefits; mediciad; elder law; estate planning; special needs; trusts; medicaid; Alzheimer's; support; memory

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