Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.

REVISED DEATH CERTIFICATES FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES IN FLORIDA

The United States Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 has brought many changes, protections and complications for same-sex couples. In 2015, after the historic court ruling, a gay widow asked the state of Florida to correct his deceased spouse’s death certificate to reflect their prior marriage in New York. The state of Florida refused since the couple were not legally married, under Florida law, at his date of death. The widower then sued the state to correct the inaccuracy. On March 23, 2017, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in his favor and ordered the state to correct his spouse’s death certificate to reflect their marriage. As a result, the state of Florida must now re-issue an accurate death certificate for all individuals who were incorrectly designated unmarried at time of death because their spouses were of the same sex.