Poor buggers, having to exploit a back door loop hole

A gay couple in Pennsylvania have had to resort to all sorts of legal trickery in estate planning because their state doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage. Poor buggers…this is just sad when you think about it.

A man in Pennsylvania has adopted his partner of 44 years to circumvent high property taxes that would be imposed on either of the men if the other dies.

John, 65, and his partner Gregory*, 75, made the decision to become father and son to avoid a 15 per cent tax on any property and assets willed to one if the other should die – a much higher tax than married spouses or family members are required to pay.

The state of Pennsylvania, where the men reside, recognizes marriage as being only between a man and a woman and has no provision for civil unions at this time.

‘If we just live together and Gregory willed me his assets and property and anything else, I would be liable for a 15 per cent tax on the value of the estate,’ John told ABC News. ‘By adoption, that decreases to 4 per cent. It’s a huge difference.’

It was decided that John, the younger of the couple, should be the adoptive father, since Gregory’s father is still alive at 95.

‘I had panic attacks about a sibling swooping down if Gregory predeceased me,’ John said. ‘A couple of siblings are homophobic and I thought, “We better get our ducks in a row.”‘

The couple began putting their affairs in order.

‘I made all my end-of-life arrangements,’ said John. ‘I want to be cremated. With my Irish-Italian family, there would have been a four-day viewing and a Catholic mass and I don’t want to put Gregory through that.’

In the absence of hope that Pennsylvania would legalize gay marriage in their lifetime, John and Gregory took the decision to adopt to protect themselves from high taxes.

‘We didn’t have the confidence that same-sex marriage would ever be approved in the Commonwealth [of Pennsylvania],’ John told ABC News.

*Gregory’s first name has been changed; surnames not given


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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