OLR Research Report

December 4, 2002





By: Susan Price-Livingston, Associate Attorney



(Fam. Code Ch. 297)


(PA 02-105)

Hospital and Nursing Home Visitation

    · Private visits in hospitals and nursing homes

    · Private visits in nursing homes

    · Visits with other residents' families at nursing homes

Medical Decisionmaking

    · Health care and end-of-life decisions for incapacitated partner

    · Emergency medical decisions for incapacitated psychiatric patient

    · Input in end-of-life decisions involving incapacitated patient

    · Priority in anatomical gift decisions above all but surviving spouse

    · Notice and consultation prior to nursing home room transfers


    · Notice of conservatorship proceedings

    · Right to object to conservator's appointment

    · Same priority in being named conservator as spouse would have

No provision

State Disability Benefits

    · Claim filing on behalf of incapacitated partner

No provision

Civil Claims

    · Wrongful death of partner

    · Negligent infliction of emotional distress when serious injury to partner observed

No provision (but survivor can file administrative claim when maker is homicide victim)

Property Transfer Upon Death

    · Simple will form includes box to check indicating desire to leave property to surviving partner

    · Effective July 1, 2003 surviving partner of intestate decedent entitled to same share of estate as surviving spouse would have

    · Assumption of motor vehicle ownership upon maker's death

Appointment as Estate Administrator

    · Same appointment priority as a surviving spouse would have

No provision


    Same adoption procedures as applicable to stepparents

No provision (but PA 00-228 authorizes co-parent adoption)


    · Not disqualified for unemployment benefits when relocates with partner

    · Can use family and medical leave to care for ill partner or partner's child

    · Employers that offer health insurance that covers spouses must also offer coverage for domestic partners

    · Health insurance continuation upon death for partner and partner's children (state employees only)

    · Death benefits and survivor's allowances (certain county employees)

    · Employers must notify employees of emergency phone calls involving designees

    · Employers cannot discipline designees for attending court proceedings as homicide victim's representative


    · Money spent to cover domestic partner and partner's children under employer's health plan is not taxable as income

No provision

Hospital Visitation Authorization

    Instructs health care providers and facility staff who is allowed and given priority to visit

Domestic Partnership Agreement

    Sets out contractual rights and responsibilities of each partner; may also specify a dispute resolution mechanism (some states may not enforce)

Durable Power of Attorney (Finances)

    Appoints another person as agent, giving him access to assets and the authority to make financial decisions on appointee's behalf; can be limited to specific powers

Durable Power of Attorney (Health Care)

    Appoints another person as agent to make health care decisions when appointee is unable to do so; can be limited by living will


    Details the distribution of money, belongings, and property upon death; can be limited by statutory rights of surviving spouse