There is much discussion these days about income tax reform. The tax code has historically been completely reformed about every thirty years and the last reform was about thirty years ago.
There has also been significant speculation as to whether the Federal Estate (a/k/a the Death Tax) is on the chopping block. Will repeal happen? When will repeal happen?
Given the dysfunction that is Washington these days, all anyone can do is speculate. So let me speculate…
Replace? The short version is that Donald Trump Continue reading Death Tax: Repeal or Replace?
Probate… Ugh! Am I right? When discussing probate with clients, I sometimes feel like I’m talking about Memphis to someone back home (I’m from Knoxville). It’s not that bad! I go there on purpose! I like it there! You shouldn’t be afraid of it!
Why Avoid Probate? Although probate is not as bad as you probably think it is, there are still some very good reasons to avoid it:
- Unnecessary Cost. Why pay unnecessarily to accomplish your wishes?
- No Privacy. Your nosey neighbors will know you cut out one of the kids.
- Delays. It simply takes longer to get your stuff to your family.
How to Avoid Probate? So, how do you avoid probate? Methods include: Continue reading How would you like to avoid probate?
UPDATE: The Supreme Court has ruled on this matter. Click here to read more.
Are Inherited IRAs Exempt from Bankruptcy? That is the exact question that will be argued before the United States Supreme Court. Click here to read more. Keep up with the latest on the case by clicking here.
An Inherited IRA is what your retirement account is called in the hands of your named beneficiary (e.g., your child) after you have passed away.
There is no question as to whether retirement assets are exempt in bankruptcy. The question before the Court is whether Congress intended an inherited retirement account to be included in that protection.
Continue reading Are Inherited IRAs Exempt from Bankruptcy?
I will refer you back to my first post in this series here. Remember that only property in your sole name with no joint owner and no beneficiary designation passes through Probate and is controlled by your Will (if you have one).
I am suddenly reminded of a Frank Sinatra song and a certain character portrayed by Ed O’Neill. Love and Marriage… The Bundy’s provide a useful example.
This entry will discuss what happens to that property if you (Al Bundy) do not have a Will. Al, ever the do-it-yourselfer, did not want to pay an attorney to draft a Will. I mean, whats the worst that can happen… Besides, he’ll be dead!
Although the law is different in each state, you will note a common theme among each of them for married parents-the surviving spouse has to share with the kids.
Another important theme to note is that where the property goes depends entirely on who survives you and their relationship to you.
Although I do not intend to cover this exhaustively, I will cover the most common scenarios. In some cases, I have simplified the law, but only to make it more digestible.
Continue reading What happens if I don’t have a Will?