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Some employers drop domestic partner benefits

7-21-2015 - Domestic partnership contracts can be useful for both unmarried opposite-sex couples and unmarried same-sex couples who wish to avail themselves of a partner's employer-sponsored benefits, such as health insurance. A common reason a couple may opt for a domestic partnership over marriage is to protect the future inheritance of children from prior marriages. And until recently, same-sex couples did not have the legal right to marry in all 50 states.

Two thirds of Fortune 500 companies provide domestic partner benefits, as do many public employers, including several states and Palm Beach County. But as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, many of these employers are phasing out benefits, giving employees a time limit in which to marry or lose benefits. If you are in a domestic partnership, you should check your employer's current policy without delay.

Domestic partners whose employers are dropping benefits and who therefore wish to marry can still alleviate their estate planning concerns with a variety of legal strategies. For example, a prenuptial agreement may be created through which a spouse waives his/her right to the elective share and marital home. See a qualified estate planning lawyer to discuss your options.

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