On December 12th, Orlando’s City Council voted to enact Central Florida’s first domestic partner registry. This is an historic event for Orlando as it the first time that families – gay or straight – will be able to record their relationship in a government database. The registry opens on Jan. 12th. For a $30 fee registered couples will have some of the same rights that married people take for granted: the ability to visit one another in the hospital or jail, to make health care decisions for an incapacitated partner, and to make funeral plans.
The registry applies only to hospitals, funeral homes and other institutions located within the city limits, but couples who live outside the city are free to register. Orange County is considering bringing forward similar legislation that would apply countywide.
The registry is also being touted as good for business. Proponents have said the registry will make it easier for companies to transfer and hire LGBT employees from cities that have better diviersity practices in place.
A cautionary note: The registry does not cover all areas where gay and straight unmarried couples may need to make decisions for one another or be recognized as the proper legal authority. The registry is not a substitute for a well thought-out and drafted estate plan, durable power of attorney, advance health care directive and living will.
The Law Office of Debra G. Simms offers consultations for estate planning
Call today and ask for our year end web special of 20% off our basic estate planning package. Book your appointment by January 30th to receive this special offer.
Debra G. Simms
Attorney at Law
Toll free: 1-877-447-4667