Residents of North Carolina recently passed Amendment One which is an amendment to the state constitution which declares that Marriage is between one man and one woman and marriage is the only recognized legal domestic union in the state.
Domestic partnerships were not recognized by the state of North Carolina before the amendment and same sex marriage was also not legally recognized. Some businesses and municipal governments did allow benefits to domestic partners. Some municipalities which had voted to do so were the towns of Carborro and Chapel Hill. Durham County, the City of Durham and Orange County offered health insurance to employee’s domestic partners.
It is unclear at this point how the new amendment will impact the benefits offered to domestic partners but anyone in a domestic partnership should consult with an Estate Planning Attorney to fully appreciate how their property rights may be impacted. Domestic partnerships are also not recognized by the Federal Government so domestic partners could not take advantage of Federal Estate Tax laws which favor married couples such as the current portability laws. Portability laws allow a surviving spouse to assume the unused lifetime tax gift and estate tax exemptions of a deceased spouse.
Getting Legal Help
Experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney, Steven Andrew Jackson, has helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the Law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™. Call us today at (828) 252-7300.