Those pesky inheritance taxes
My partner of 22 years and I have very carefully titled the assets we own jointly to make our joint ownership clear. For example, our home is titled as "Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship," our vehicles are jointly titled and most of our banking accounts and investments (except qualified plans like IRAs, which must be owned by an individual) are also jointly held. We thought that this would protect us from our home state, Pennsylvania's onerous inheritance tax of 4.5%. But recently, we've been handling the estate of one of moms who passed away. Imagine our surprise when we were hit with the state inheritance tax of bank accounts that were titled jointly with mom! I know that opposite-sex spouses in Pennsylvania do not have to pay the inheritance tax on money inherited from a spouse. This is just another reason that we will continue to fight for marriage equality. But meanwhile, is there anything else we can do to avoid this tax? Move to Florida where there is no estate tax? Move to Canada, where we are legally married? Establish some sort of trust? Neither of us is planning to pass away in any hurry but you never know … We'd appreciate your advice.