Same-sex marriage became legal in the state in 2013 and the two made plans to wed but six days before the planned wedding Connolly passed away unexpectedly. Jiwungkul was the executor of the estate. In that capacity he paid approximately $100,000 to the state for the estate tax.

Later he filed an amended tax return and asked to have the amount refunded, claiming that he should be exempt from it. The state refused and the case went to tax court.

The law in the case was clear. As Jiwungkul was a domestic partner he was not entitled to the estate tax exemption. The court could have granted him an exemption by citing extraordinary circumstances, but the judge declined to do so.

The case illustrates that same-sex couples still need to be mindful about what different legal statuses mean for their estates.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on rights within your state of residence.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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