When a person dies, their assets must be distributed. If a person fails to create a will or trust, their property will pass via the state laws of intestate succession. Every state has a specific set of laws providing a sort of default will. For example, if a person dies without an estate plan in … [Read more...] about What Happens if I Die Without an Estate Plan?
Actor Robin Williams passed away in August 2014. Prior to his passing, he established a trust that gave the majority of his estate to his three children. The trust also directed that one of his homes go to his wife for the remainder of her lifetime. This type of transfer is called a life estate. A … [Read more...] about Learning from the Robin Williams’ Estate
Did you know the IRS is nice? It must sound as strange to read as it is to write. But in this one instance the IRS does a very nice thing for the loved ones of a person who passes away: There is a step-up in cost basis for all assets included in the decedent’s estate. The easier way to understand … [Read more...] about The IRS is nice?
The passing of a loved one evokes many emotions and it is often unexpected. MH Partner, Theron Hall Jr, discusses the benefits of a trust in the following video. http://youtu.be/qXgxi_Xp2go Contributed by MH Phoenix and Mesa Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Theron M Hall Jr. About Morris … [Read more...] about The Passing of a Loved One
Working in estate administration, I have occasion to see first-hand what kind of havoc a poor plan, or no plan, can wreak on surviving family members. There are also situations where a good Trust operates exactly as it should with respect to the funded assets. It’s the assets not funded in the … [Read more...] about A Trust Only Works if it’s Properly Funded
Elwood Olsen thought he could save a few dollars on attorney’s fees when his wife passed away. It turns out he ended up costing his family thousands of dollars in extra taxes and expenses. Elwood, and his wife Grace, created revocable trusts prior to Grace’s death in 1998. According to the terms of … [Read more...] about Do-it-Yourself Lawyer’s Mistakes Costs Beneficiaries Thousands
During the estate planning process it’s important that you remember the following costs and expenses that may need to be paid upon your death. Funeral costs. Depending on how elaborate the funeral, an average cost can run between $5,000-$10,000. Medical bills. Doctor, hospital, long-term care … [Read more...] about Will Your Estate Have Enough Cash to Pay the Costs of Settling Your Estate?
Michael Jackson is the undisputed King of Pop! His ability to entertain and mesmerize crowds across the world is second to none. But the IRS is not as impressed with Michael Jackson’s estate. The IRS is essentially saying Beat It to what the estate claims it is worth. When Michael Jackson died … [Read more...] about The IRS is Gonna be Startin’ Somethin’ with the King of Pop’s Estate By New Mexico Attorney James Plitz
Kathleen and Robert Magowan were a pair of elderly twins working middle class jobs and living in a middle class home. Kathleen was a long-time first-grade teacher and Robert was an insurance agent who’d made a few good investments in the 60s and 70s. No one near the pair suspected the two had been … [Read more...] about Uncovered in Death: Elderly Twins Were Millionaires
Typically when I sit down with new clients to discuss the creation of their estate plan, the discussion revolves around the two most common options - Last Will & Testament or a Revocable Living Trust. The best option will usually be centered upon the estate size, individual goals and family … [Read more...] about WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR ‘STUFF’ WHEN WE DIE