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Proposed law bolsters inheritance rights of same-sex spouses

One of the most important benefits of same-sex marriage is the fact that married couples benefit from Minnesota state inheritance laws. Without a marriage and without a will, the romantic partner of another person won't be entitled to inherit the partner's property in the event of unforeseen death.

Before same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, the lack of inheritance rights created a lot of difficulty and heartache for the same-sex partners. In some horror story situations, the same-sex partner had no choice but to stand aside as family members came and stripped his or her home of shared furniture and other possession.

Last month, lawmakers introduced a new bill designed to retroactively provide marriage rights to same-sex couples who entered a civil union prior to the nationwide legalization of gay marriage. The law is specifically intended to help same-sex couples in which one spouse passed away prior to marriage equality in August 2013. If passed, the new bill would provide benefits like retirement, burial rights, social security and veterans' benefits to surviving same-sex spouses.

By retroactively granting marriage rights to the people who qualify under the new legislation, this bill would solve a very significant legal loophole, which has left many gay spouses behind. As such, it is certainly hoped that this bill is approved and enacted as soon as possible.

All Minnesota same-sex partners now have the legal right to get married. However, that does not mean that unique legal situations could apply to same-sex couples. In the event that a legal challenge presents itself, gay couples may want to discuss their situations with a qualified family law attorney who can sound legal counseling and strategies for navigating the issues.

Source:, "MN bill would grant retroactive marriage rights to surviving same-sex spouses," Andy Birkey, accessed April 07, 2017

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