Same Sex Marriage Found Valid: Surviving Spouse Allowed to Inherit

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A New York appeals court has recognized the widowed spouse of a same sex marriage as the surviving spouse for the purpose of inheriting under a will. In affirming a Surrrogate's Court ruling, the Appellate Division in the Matter of the Estate of H. Kenneth Ranftle, recognized as valid, a Canadian same-sex marriage.

While same sex marriages cannot be validly performed in New York, New York will recognize marriages validly performed in another jurisdiction. This rule does not extend such recognition where the foreign marriage is "contrary to the prohibitions of natural law or the express prohibitions of a statute".

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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