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 Dale's page!
Protecting yourself and a loved one when not married.
Important information for same-sex and opposite-sex non-married couples. 

Equal Rights for all!

 

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      The State of Virginia, as in many states, does not recognize same-sex relationships as legal in any way. Especially with regard to estate, burial, and any other rights. If you  live in another State these forms may provide you with a thumbnail of what you need. But check in your local state. Documents like Living Wills and Medical Power Of Attorney are in many cases usable in most states. For verification check with your local State Bar or a local Attorney. 

     As I understand Virginia does not recognize common law marriage. Virginia does recognize common law marriages between men and women, if created and valid from another state. However, for purposes of inheritance or the benefits of pension plans or social security, a valid marriage is required.  
Source for Common Law Marriage information: http://www.vadivorceonline.com/vapages/Alimony/commonlawmarriage.asp 
More information on Common law marriage from local Attorney,  Vicki L. Wiese, Esq. of Roanoke, " Virginia does recognize common law marriage if the marriage is entered into in a state which recognizes them.   Oklahoma and Texas have them. But you cannot BECOME common law married in Virginia .  Also, we will not recognize a common law marriage that violates Virginia ís public policy. As an example, if you can have same sex common law marriage in Massach. Virginia will NOT recognize that marriage here."

    Neither of the above means that you have no options on protecting your loved one and yourself and property. I am not an attorney and offer this as information as I understand it or as has been explained to me. However in order for that protection to be held certain legal documents must be properly in place. Thanks to local attorney, Vicki L. Wiese, Esq. of Roanoke for her assistance in finding and compiling the information below. Also thanks to the Virginia State Bar for making certain documents available for free download to assist in these areas. 

    Recently a friend of thirty-three years and his same-sex partner of thirty years moved to Virginia. Unexpectedly and soon after the move my friend died. His partner, Dale was left with no legal standing with regard to his partner's ending healthcare, survivor rights, and or burial rights. This same horror could happen to any persons residing together in Virginia without being officially married. So this could happen to anyone GLBT or straight who reside with a loved one but not officially married. 

     This is an area of common ground concern. That being said it is the goal of AFE and its members to aid in suggesting methods to achieve equality for all in such areas. In that vein I offer the information below free of charge. I know there are places and websites offering this elsewhere. Some also free and some for a fee or donation. Please feel free to use the links below to protect yourself in these cases. No fee and or donation is expected or required. This information is being posted to assist those in need. I have confirmed with the Virginia State bar that these links are available for public and free of cost use. 

For healthcare safeguards see information on this link and feel free to use. The use of this form will insure that person you chose will make decisions for you and in that be allowed visitation and information rights. 
http://www.vsb.org/site/public/healthcare-decisions-day

For information of Wills and how to: 
http://www.vsb.org/site/publications/wills-in-virginia/  This is where you can determine the outcome of your belongings and final care wishes.

Additional forms which should be drawn with the assistance of an attorney and could be very useful and assistive would be a Durable Power of Attorney. The Durable Power Of Attorney is broad and is effective even if you become legally incompetent. Care should be taken if establishing this as it gives broad power to your appointed agent. Below is a link which offers assistance with this action. But do verify with an attorney that this is what you need to insure the person you desire has control in case you are not able to make decisions for yourself. 
Click here for the page with this information. 

    As I stated above I am not attorney and I am not offering legal advice. I am offering links to legal information so that you may gain knowledge to safeguard yourself, your loved one, and your wishes.

    I establish this section in honor of my lost friend Joe "Mojo" Droddi and his partner Dale. When I asked Dale what I could do to help he said, "Please help me find a way so that no one else ever has to go through this." That is my intent to empower you with information.  Len Rogers

Some additional resources;

Home buying for the same-sex couple and a bit more.


 
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