Reciprocal Beneficiaries in Hawaii

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What is a Reciprocal Beneficiary?

Under the law of the State of Hawaii (the Reciprocal Beneficiaries Ac), two people can register with the state to receive many of the same benefits that have previously only been enjoyed by married couples.  Reciprocal beneficiary relationships are very similar to registered domestic partnerships

Who Qualifies to Register as Reciprocal Beneficiaries?

Any two Hawaii residents who are over the age of 18 and are not permitted to legally marry are eligible to register as reciprocal beneficiaries.  This broad definition includes not only same-sex couples but also relationship such as: 

Each person attempting to register must also be unmarried and not already registered as a reciprocal beneficiary.

To Register Do We Have to Live Together?

No.  The new Hawaiian law does not require that the two adults be in a committed relationship or be living together to be able to register as reciprocal beneficiaries. 

Why Should My Partner and I Register as Reciprocal Beneficiaries?

Registering as reciprocal beneficiaries will afford you and your partner many of the same benefits which the state already gives to married couples.  Examples of these include: 

How Do You Register as Reciprocal Beneficiaries?

Registration takes place through

Hawaii's State Department of Health.  You and your partner must fill out an application, have it notarized, and submit it to the Department of Health with a small fee. 

How Do You Terminate a Reciprocal Beneficiaries Relationship?

To terminate a reciprocal beneficiary relationship either person, not both, must file a notarized declaration with the Department of Health and pay a small fee.  A marriage license issued to a reciprocal beneficiary will also terminate the relationship.  It is important to note that it only takes one of the reciprocal beneficiaries to terminate the relationship, and that one person can do so without the other's consent or even knowledge. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to Register as Reciprocal Beneficiaries?

While you and your partner do not need a lawyer to register as reciprocal beneficiaries, you should consult a good wills and trusts attorney to ensure that you are both provided for in the event of illness or death.

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Last Modified: 12-27-2013 10:24 AM PST

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