Recommended Legal Documents for Gay Couples

Here is a list of recommended documents that I believe are very important for my gay and lesbian clients. Planning your gay wedding, lesbian wedding or commitment ceremony should include discussion of which of these legal documents is best for you.

Disclaimer: Let me clearly state here that I am NOT an attorney nor represent any legal opinions. I make no representation that the legal documents discussed below are appropriate for your unique scenario. ALWAYS consult an attorney before signing any legal documents.

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RECOMMENDED READING AND DOCUMENTS

COUNTY REGISTRY – Volusia County approvals Domestic Partnership Registry.Investigate your county and see if they offer a registry. If they do, you should absolutely look into what it offers.

ADVANCED HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE –  EVERYONE should have one of these…Gay, Straight, Lesbian, American or Martian. It is a set of documents that allows your partner to make decisions about your medical care.The first is a document called the FLORIDA DESIGNATION OF HEALTHCARE SURROGATE and it allows your partner (or other designee) to make medical decisions and speak on your behalf if you are incapacitated. The second is called a LIVING WILL. This particular document allows your partner (or other designee) to make end of life decisions on your behalf should you have an end-stage, terminal or persistent vegetative state condition. You can revoke these documents at any time simply by creating a new one with a new decision maker(s) listed or by telling people you wish to revoke it or by writing “Void” across the documents.

Florida residents go here to download the FREE Advanced Healthcare Directive forms and the very simple instructions for creating them.

Non Florida residents should go to this linkto choose their state’s forms from a list.

Go to this link to get more educated on Advanced Healthcare Directives in general. It has some great stuff in it.

YOUR WILL – This can be as easy or complicated as needed depending on how complex your estate is. For simple estates, check out this link which has you fill in the blanks as you go along then you print out the completed papers. It’s very easy to do and is a super cheap and easy way to create wills “on-the-fly.” These resulting paperwork would be notarized by me prior to your ceremony. If your personal scenario is a little more complex, go to the Florida Bar website or a legal aid organization in your area to find an Estate Lawyer who will craft the document. This paperwork would be notarized by your attorney’s office after creating them for you. You can revoke or revise your will at any time by creating a new one or by creating a statement dissolving the old one and having it notarized properly.

CHANGING YOUR NAME LEGALLY – It’s pretty easy to change your name actually. Like anything else, you simply fill out the form then file it with the Clerk of Court’s office where you live. (Here is a link to a web provider offering the form. Make sure you use the form for your state! You must have it notarized before filing it with the Court.) You will receive an appointment to meet with the judge who looks everything over. The Court’s main concern is that you are not changing your name to escape your financial obligations somehow so most of the questions they ask will be about this. They honestly do not care why you are changing your name as long as it isn’t to nefariously get out of any financial commitments you may have. They stamp your paperwork approved. You get a copy. Voila! You’re name is now changed. Now you just have to notify everyone staring with the Social Security Administration and DMV. To receive my complete list of places to change your name at, email me and I’ll send it to you.

FLORIDA COHABITATION AGREEMENT – (FL-513R is the name of the form) This is a comprehensive form that you could think of as a “pre-nuptial” type of agreement. It lays out in great detail what all the assets, income and property consists of, who gets what if you split up, etc… It is a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT which you should understand COMPLETELY before signing. Always have licensed attorney review any contract before you sign it.

After searching online, I found this link which walks you through the form completing answers as you go, and the fee was a nominal $23. After you complete it, each of you would have the form reviewed by separate attorneys BEFORE signing it in case it needs to be modified. You can actually see what this form looks like by going to the website listed above and clicking the “free preview” button.

Additional costs to have me notarize these documents:

The cost of notarizing these documents is not include in my ceremony service fee. Each document I notarize costs $10. Moreover I only accept a trackable form of payment for document execution so you can’t pay with cash.

Why is this? The State of Florida is really picky about how I officially record documents I notarize. That’s because they are legal instruments recognized in a court of law. Although you may have had friends notarize things for you for free in the past, the State prefers to see a fee-for-service arrangement which is then recorded in my notary book, and with the fee paid in a verifiable format. This way all the “i”s are dotted and “t”s crossed and leaves no wiggle room for lawyers to argue the “validity” of the documents. For same sex partners, it is incredibly important that these documents be able to withstand any test or challenge in court.

Disclaimer: Let me clearly state here that I am NOT an attorney nor represent any legal opinions. I make no representation that the legal documents discussed below are appropriate for your unique scenario. ALWAYS consult an attorney before signing any legal documents.

THAT WEDDING LADY – Supporter and Provider of Gay Wedding Services
Jacksonville, FL – St. Augustine, FL – Amelia Island, FL
Duval County, St. John County, Clay County, Nassau County

Gay Weddings - Lesbian Weddings - Commitment Ceremonies
That Wedding Lady, Jacksonville, FL #1 Gay Wedding Provider
Jacksonville, FL – St. Augustine, FL – Amelia Island, FL
Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County, Nassau County