Washington State Recognizes Domestic Partnerships

Saw this on CNN this morning and, though its slightly off topic for this blog, I think its worth noting:

Seattle.gov has a FAQ that defines domestic partners:

Under the definition provided by Seattle City Ordinance NO.117244, Domestic Partners are two people, both of whom are eighteen years of age or older; neither of whom is married or related by blood in a manner that would bar their marriage in Washington State; who have a relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment; and are each other’s sole domestic partner.

According to AP, Wash. State OKs Domestic Partnerships, CBS News, April 21, 2007 the following rights are included:

  • Health-care facility visitation rights.
  • Ability to grant consent for health care for a partner who is not competent. Health care providers could disclose patient information to the patient’s partner.
  • Automatic revocation of a domestic partner as the beneficiary for nonprobate assets if the partnership ends.
  • Automatic revocation of power of attorney granted to a domestic partner if the partnership ends.
  • Title and rights to cemetery plots and rights of interment.
  • Right to control disposition of a deceased partner’s remains, including right to make anatomical gifts, authorize autopsies and consent to remove partner’s remains from a cemetery plot.
  • Inheritance rights when the domestic partner dies without a will.
  • Administration of an estate if the domestic partner dies without a will or if the named representative declines or is unable to serve.
  • Making domestic partners beneficiaries of wrongful-death actions. Lawsuits for wrongful death could be brought on behalf of a surviving domestic partner.
  • Requiring that information recorded on death certificates inlude domestic partnership status.
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