Do you need to reevaluate how you hold title to your Florida property?

As laws change, so do your legal needs. A recent, high-profile court decision is affecting hundreds of thousands of people throughout the nation, and it may have a substantial impact on your property rights.

If you are in a same-sex relationship and are married or plan to get married, you are now entitled to a number of rights and benefits previously preserved for married opposite-sex couples. Keep reading to learn more.

What is the Obergefell decision and how does it affect me?

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that all states must:

  • Issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
  • Recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states

Not only does this landmark decision allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, it also changes the way they can hold title to their properties.

What is 'tenants by the entirety'?

Previously, married same-sex couples were unable to take title to real estate in Florida as tenants by the entirety. This form of ownership provides married couples numerous benefits, including:

  • Avoiding probate upon the death of one spouse by transferring jointly-held property to the surviving spouse
  • Keeping creditors from forcing a sale of the property to satisfy the debts of a deceased spouse

These rights are far superior to holding a property as joint tenants or as tenants in common in Florida. If you currently own real estate or other assets with your spouse, you may need to re-deed your property to make this beneficial change.

How does the decision affect my estate plan?

Not only does the court ruling affect the way you can hold title to your joint property, it reduces complexities with your financial planning and estate planning needs. For example, you may now take advantage of the unlimited marital deduction for estate planning and tax purposes. You may also make unlimited gifts to your spouse without incurring gift tax liabilities at the federal or state level. These are just two examples of many.

How can a lawyer help me?

At Korshak & Associates, P.A., our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined legal experience helping individuals and families throughout Central Florida with issues of real estate and estate planning. Review your property and estate planning options with a lawyer who understands your unique situation and who will guide you to decisions that are best for you, your spouse and your children.

These questions and answers are designed to give you an overview of legal changes that may affect you and should not take the place of legal advice regarding your unique situation.