June 01, 2012
Janis Cowhey, Tax & Business Services Partner, Quoted in Dow Jones Newswire Article "Property Traps For Gay And Unwed Pairs"
A client of New York tax attorney Janis Cowhey McDonagh recently found out some of this the hard way. The man's long-time partner had died. The two had co-owned a house in Westchester County, New York, and the deceased -- the wealthier of the two --had also owned a condo in Florida, according to Cowhey McDonagh, a principal in the Tax and Business Services group at accounting firm Marcum LLP.
The men had not made a will.
They had gotten good advice on the Westchester home, which they owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, an arrangement commonly used by gay couples. Cowhey McDonagh's client inherited it with no trouble. But the condo went to the family of the deceased. The client will have to go to court to get the family -- who disapproved of the gay relationship -- to let him retrieve his belongings.