Domestic Partnerships in Washington Automatically Converted to Marriage June 30, 2014

Senate Bill 6239 amended state statutes to expand domestic partnerships. In addition to legalizing same-sex marriage, this modifies state-registered domestic partnerships to automatically convert any undissolved domestic partnership into a marriage, whether same-sex or not, that does not involve at least one member aged 62 years or older.  The law also provides that Washington’s registered domestic partnerships will convert automatically to marriages on June 30, 2014, if not dissolved before that date.  To avoid the automatic converstion to marriage, one of the partners must have filed for legal separation or divorce before the June 30th deadline.  All couples were informed of these changes by the State of Washington prior to the deadline.   

With the evolution of this law protecting couples in this state, one change is that a registered-domestic partnership is now obsolete in the State of Washington unless one member of the partnership is at least 62 years old.  Inheritance protections that existed for state-registered domestic partners and married couples are now equally available to same-sex couples. 

We have both estate planning and family law attorneys to help you interpret and apply these changes in your family. To update your estate plan and find out more about how recent changes in the law affect you, contact our office to meet with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys. Our family law attorneys are also available to meet with you to discuss options regarding the dissolution of your converted partnership.

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