Two Women Challenge Pennsylvania’s Inheritance Taxation on Same Sex Unions

Two recent cases could have an impact on family law in Pennsylvania.

Two recent cases could have an impact on family law in Pennsylvania.

Two recent cases caught our eye, both of which could have an impact on family law in Pennsylvania.

It’s been well publicized that half a dozen lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania seeking to legalize same-sex marriage. However, recently, two lesser known cases are challenging inheritance taxation on same sex unions.

Emma Jacobs of www.newsworks.org recently reported that two widows are challenging Pennsylvania’s marriage law over inheritance taxes, in two separate cases.

Barbara Baus and her wife lived in Bethlehem, after getting legally married out of state in Connecticut. Baus’ partner died in 2012 and she filed her inheritance tax return with the state as a “spouse” because of the validity of their Connecticut marriage license. However, Pennsylvania assessed her the rate applied to “legal strangers”: 15 percent.

Elsewhere, Nancy Nixon is also challenging inheritance taxation.

“In Carlisle, Nancy Nixon is asking the state to recognize her ‘common-law marriage’ to her partner of three decades in an appeal to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue,” wrote Jacobs.

The article added that a department spokesperson says the agency cannot recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states, but anyone whose appeal is rejected by the agency can bring their case to Commonwealth Court.

If you have any questions about same sex marriage in Pennsylvania or any other family mediation issue, please contact one of our family law attorneys in the Harrisburg or York area.

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