About Me

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Beaverton, Oregon, United States
I'm an attorney at Aaby Family Law in Beaverton, Oregon. (www.aabyfamilylaw.com) I practice probate and estate planning, including estate planning for same sex couples. kgapinski@aabyfamilylaw.com

Friday, August 30, 2013

Same Sex Couple Sues State of Ohio in Federal Court for Recognition of Marriage

Jim Obergefell (left) and John Arthur during their wedding ceremony

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur have been together for over twenty years.  The couple live in Ohio, a state which does not recognize same sex marriage.  After The Supreme Court struck down DOMA, Jim and John Arthur decided to travel to Maryland, a state recognizing same sex marriage, to get married.

Because John has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or "Lou Gehrig's disease") and is terminally ill, he was unable to travel without medical support.  The couple chartered a medical jet and got married on the tarmac of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).

You can read more about Jim and John's story and watch their wedding:


After their marriage, the couple traveled back to Ohio and filed suit in federal court in Cincinnati - The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.  Federal Judge Timothy Black extended a temporary restraining order against the State of Ohio, preventing the state from enforcing its ban on gay marriage.  Ohio was ordered to list John Arthur as married on his death certificate when he dies, rather than single, so they may be buried next to each other in a family plot at a cemetery allowing only descendants and spouses.

Oral arguments are scheduled for the case on December 18, 2013. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

IRS to recognize same sex marriage, regardless of where the same sex couple resides

In good news for same sex couples, the IRS announced today that for federal tax purposes, it will recognize a couple's marriage if it was entered into in a jurisdiction allowing same sex marriage, regardless of where the couple currently resides.

The states that currently allow same sex marriage are:
Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia

This means it does not matter to the IRS if you live in a non-recognition state, as long as you were married in a recognition state.

For example,  an Oregon same sex couple can get married in Washington and still file joint federal taxes, even though they live in Oregon, which does not recognize same sex marriages. 
For more information on the Treasury and IRS announcement, check out their FAQ

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

15 Tycoons Who Won't Leave Their Fortunes to Their Kids

Warren Buffet has pledged to give 99% of his wealth to philanthropy

There was an interesting article on Yahoo Finance the other day about wealthy individuals who are not planning to leave their money to their children.  Among the individuals are Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, and Jackie Chan.  

Most of the individuals have chosen to give their wealth to charity.  A sentiment that echos throughout the article is that leaving a large sum of money to one's kids does them more harm than good.  This has helpful estate tax consequences for these wealthy folks, as money donated to charity is tax deductible!

Read the article here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Department of Defense Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses of Military Members

The Department of Defense announced on August 13, 2013 they would be extending spousal and family benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and Department of Defense civilian employees. The benefits are extended as long as the service member sponsors can provide a valid marriage certificate. The Department of Defense is allowing military personnel leave so they can travel to a jurisdiction allowing same-sex marriage.  

The Department of Defense states in its memorandum, "It is now the Department's policy to treat all married military personnel equally."

The Department of Defense is another federal agency choosing to recognize same sex marriages if a couple is married in a state recognizing same sex marriage ("place of celebration") in spite of whether the couple currently lives in a state that does not recognize same sex marriage.

Read the full memorandum HERE.  

Read the memorandum giving further guidance HERE.   

Monday, August 12, 2013

Estate Sale benefitting Oregon Humane Society

The Oregon Humane Society is having a "Barking Lot" sale on August 30, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The items for sale are items donated to the Oregon Humane Society over the years, including as gifts from estates.

Here's the press release from the Oregon Humane Society:

A huge variety of luxury and collectible items are for sale at OHS for the first ever Barking Lot Estate Sale. Over 200 items donated to OHS over the years will be for sale on Friday, August 30 starting at 8 am.

Part garage sale, part estate sale, you'll find Christmas ornaments, diamond and gold jewelery, furniture, china, fine art and more. It's all for sale for one day only. Prices range from $5 to over $2,500 and all proceeds go to help the pets of OHS.

When: Friday, August 30, 2013, 8 am - 6 pm
Where: Oregon Humane Society, 1067 NE Columbia Blvd. Portland Oregon
What: Multi-Estate Sale Benefit for OHS