In several states, state legislatures enacted laws allowing same-sex partners and opposite-sex domestic partners to register their partnerships and receive some legal rights and protections.
In Florida, the Legislature does not recognize domestic partnerships between unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex residents. Thus, if you live in Florida, your unmarried domestic partner will not receive any intestate rights to your property and assets upon your death without a will. If you die without a validly created will or without first creating a will, you are an “intestate.” If you die intestate, the state’s default laws established by the 2011 Florida Statutes will determine which of your relatives are legally entitled to benefit from your estate.
Although drafting a legally valid will is a recommended part of estate planning for all Floridians, it is especially important for unmarried residents who wish to convey some of their assets to their unmarried partners. This is true even if you registered your partnership in another state.
Without a will, the law of intestate succession determines who receives your property, and the list of designated legal beneficiaries does not include your same-sex partner or opposite-sex unmarried partner. You can contact our office to help you understand your legal rights as an unmarried resident in Florida living with a life partner.