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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rules on Common Law Marriage

Common law marriage is not really acknowledged in the state of Florida unless the marriage is valid in one of the nine states it is allowed, or the marriage occurred in Florida before Jan. 1, 1968. Many couples have been living together for years and take care of one another but are not married. Usually the reasons behind this are that there are children in prior marriages whose inheritance they wish to protect or each partner wishes to shield their assets if the other requires long term nursing care.

There are upsides to not being legally married like the ones listed above, but at the same time, there are many downsides as well. They are denied a number of automatic privileges that they would want such as property rights, or even something as simple as the right to talk with their partner's doctor in the event of a medical emergency.

There are legal steps one can take in order to protect your partner and gain some of the benefits that come with marriage. The most important issues include health care decisions, your IRA, 401K, life insurance and arrangements regarding wills.


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