An American man has ADOPTED his partner of 44 years to avoid 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 inheritance-style tax.
The levy is much higher tax than married spouses or family members are required to pay.
The state of Pennsylvania, where the men live, recognises marriage as being only between a man and a woman and has no provision for civil unions.
“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,” said John.
“By adoption, that decreases to four 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 explained.
“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,'” added 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 legalise 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).”