Inheritance Rights for Same Sex Couples: Australia joins in
For decades and decades, same sex couples could not marry. This meant that same sex spouses did not receive the “automatic” inheritances in probates and trusts which hetero couples’ surviving spouses or widows received. This has all changed in Florida, America and now Australia.
The New York Times reports that Australia now has legalized, or recognized, gay marriage and same sex couples. And while many divorce lawyers say that this is a big victory for human rights and civil liberties, Florida probate lawyers understand that this means a LOT in the world of inheritances, probates and trusts.
Florida, like many states, gives a wife or husband very special legal recognition. And property rights. Unless you “waive” your property rights in a marriage, and unless you waive your inheritance rights to your spouse’s property, such as through a prenuptial agreement, a widow, or surviving wife or husband, gets an automatic inheritance. Ask any Florida estate lawyer and they can talk for weeks about the husband’s elective share, or wife’s homestead, or widow’s intestate share of an estate.
These inheritance rights in Florida are very, very valuable and all that matters is whether there was a valid marriage…. Or not ! And now, with same sex marriages being legal in the US and Florida, gay couples stand to inherit millions and millions of dollars upon the death of their husband, wife or spouse, automatically and by operation of law, just for being married. Unless………………. They waived those inheritance rights properly.
Now, Australian probate lawyers will deal with inheritance laws down under for gay couples, just as Florida estate attorneys advise gay couples about same sex marriage and inheritance rights. To read the entire article, click here.