With the recent Supreme Court rulings against state bans on same-sex marriage, debates and conversations have been sparked about what exactly constitutes marriage. Though many religious beliefs hold that a marriage can only be between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court is standing behind the constitutional rights of the individual and that those “long-held religious views do not trump” those rights, as explained by Judge John G. Heyburn II of the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

Though same sex couples will probably be waiting on actually attaining marriage licenses, those couples, same-sex or traditional, that choose to delay or forego the formality of marriage often experience the same obstacles when having their relationship recognized as legal. Only 11 states and the District of Columbia actually recognize common law marriages as legal. Though Florida does not recognize common law marriages established after 1968 as valid, they do allow the rights of a married couple to be bestowed on those couples that had entered into a common law marriage in another state before moving to Florida. The requirements of common law vary from state to state.

The designation of a common law marriage can present some issues when it comes to estate planning. Though it’s recommended that you formalize your marriage or to document that there was no existing marriage between the parties, making specific requests in your estate documents that outline exactly what the other party is entitled to, can help avoid future problems between your common law partner and other family members or possible heirs.

At Advanced Wealth Advisors we can help those protected under common law marriage to designate their partner as beneficiary. As experienced financial advisors in Naples, our associates understand all the intricacies of estate planning for traditional and non-traditional unions and can help you overcome the obstacles. Call us at 239-455-1100 to request a free consultation.