Rate Your State Part 11: The Empire State

Ah…New York. I went to college there and lived there for 4 years after, in the city so nice they named it twice! The State of New York has an interesting history. It was originally established as a Dutch trading post. The English took it over after the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667. It’s Dutch origins is why most of the oldest blue blood families of New York were Dutch: The Roosevelts, The Vanderbilts, the Dykemans, etc…Harlem was named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands and was a small agricultural town in the 1760s. Remember that for a long time, New York’s heavily populated areas really extended only as far at about 23rd Street. Prior to the late 1800s, development further north included Central Park, built in the 1850s or so and large mansions and brownstones where the wealthy lived.

Anyhoo, New York recognizes gay marriages from other states, and sometimes the family court has recognized domestic partnerships for both gay and straight couples when dividing assets after a relationship’s conclusion. However, unmarried folks, you need a will because “life partner” doesn’t mean shit if your beloved dies with no will.

It’s a cryin’ shame. In this case instead of I Heart NY, I would have to say: “Unmarried? Wanna inherit your partner’s goods without a will? Fuhgeddaboutit!”


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