Post # 1
So FW and I are getting married in D.C., but we live in Virginia where our marriage will mean nothing. We talked to a few lawyers and to get a will, power of attorney, burial rights, health-care proxy and what not varied between $2,000 – $4,500. Hetero couples get these rights for free when they get married, but we have to pay for them. This is ridiculous!!! Anyone else looked at legal protection for your non-legal future spouse?
Post # 3
We live in CT so in the state it will be a legal marriage. We are looking into wills, power of attorney, etc.
Post # 4
There have got to be civil rights activist groups who can point you to a lawyer who will charge less than that.
Post # 5
I think it’s horrifically injust and offensive that same-sex couples are not afforded the same legal rights, but I do want to point out that some of those documents are ones that I think couples of all legal statuses should have. Being married does not automatically grant power of attorney to your spouse – they would have to go to court to get that granted if you were incapacitated. I recently did a health care proxy, durable power of attorney, trust, and will with a lawyer and it was about $2000 for everything.
Ellabee’s idea is a good one – you may be able to find people out there who are seriously ticked off at the state of affairs and willing to give you a break. Also, as you and your partner acquire more assets together, you may want to look into a family trust as well. There are specialists out there who can help navigate the financial/legal/tax/estate landscape for same sex couples, but the main thing is that if you own things like a home, they’re owned by both of you.
Post # 6
As an attorney who has worked with wills/trusts, I’m not sure what you mean? All couples have to pay to have a will or trust, durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, living trust, etc. $2-4,000 is actually about normal for a full estate package.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
You don’t necessarily have to go to a lawyer for those things. There should be a bunch of paperwork you fill out for everything in your state, but you have to do a lot of research to find it all. We’re in a similar situation, and luckily have friends who went through the process a few years ago, so they’ll be giving us all of the paperwork.
It does suck, though, and I would feel more comfortable if a lawyer did it all, but we don’t really have the budget. @ellabee has a good suggestion. If you have a local LGBTQ center, I would ask there, or even at a UU church in your area.
It’s interesting how people against same sex civil marriage don’t see beyond religion or personal opinion to look at the money/rights aspect of it. There was an interesting article a while ago about this, and it didn’t even cover everything (second-parent adoption, gays raising many children, immigration costs, etc.).
Post # 8
Thanks for the clarification gals. I guess what we were worried about is that without the will and health care proxy we wouldn’t be recognized as next of kin or family and as such wouldn’t have the legal right if one of us died. Without a legal spouse or will or children, next of kin becomes the mother or father and we are very concerned that FW’s mother, and perhaps even my own would try and take all assets or make burial decisions the other wouldn’t like.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
Keep us informed. I have a similar concern with my Future Mother-In-Law. 🙂
Post # 10
My wife and I are in an extremely similar situation – married in DC, live in Richmond. A week after we married, we went to a legal seminar for married LGBTQ people and learned many of the same things it sounds like you already know about. One other thing we are planning to do that we hadn’t thought about is to make a video (actually, three – one of just me, one of just her, and a third of us both) that clearly states our wishes should one or both of us die. As one of the lawyers pointed out, even with all of the very expensive paperwork in place, a rogue family member could really harm our family if there is a death. Once we have kids, it becomes especially dangerous. This is one way we can speak for ourselves in court – even in death – and make it very clear what our postmortem wishes are.
Just be careful – as I’m sure you already know, VA law states that anything approximating marriage is void in VA. Don’t refer to one another or your kids by anything other than legal name in any of your paperwork or videos, or it could be declared invalid.
Sigh. This sucks. Off to write a letter to Eric Cantor. He hasn’t heard from my big gay ass in a while 🙂
Post # 11
Congrats on your wedding! I’m from Canada and this always surprises me that the US does not (for the most part?) recognize same-sex marriage. Odd. Here in Canada we’ve had same-sex marriage for ten years (just celebrated the tenth year anniversary of this right!) and not only that, common-law same-sex spouses have been recognized as such under the Income Tax Act for twenty years (common-law and legal marriage have the same meaning under the Income Tax Act). Good luck to you and I hope it changes in the US soon!
Post # 12
One of you should join the military, you can have that all done for free then 😀
In all seriousness, it sucks and I don’t get how some states recognize the marriage while others don’t.
Post # 13
I will avoid going off on how much marriage-related discrimination pisses me off, and instead refer you to a book, in the hopes that it will help: Unmarried to Each Other. It does a good job of outlining what all a couple needs to do to procure the rights that are just given to legally wed couples. It’s a good resource for couples of any sexual orientation who cannot or choose not to get legally married.
Post # 14
ugh this both makes me mad and stresses me out. We are in the same situation and we do not have $4k lying around to take care of this right now!!! =(Edit
Post # 15
My FW and I live in Illinois, where civil unions will be legal in June. I’m hoping that civil unions will include many of those things but the details aren’t public yet.
Post # 16
Move to DC…we’d love to have ya 🙂