Articles Posted in Heirs

8.30.16A woman’s suit to contest her father’s decision to give his estate to a not-for-profit failed, as his will was found to be valid. The family’s split over religion was never resolved, and there are no winners here.

A panel of three judges upheld a previous ruling that Stacy Wolin was legally disinherited by her father, according to an article in The Algemeiner, entitled “New Jersey Woman Fails to Contest Father’s Will Over Alleged Bias Against Jewish Spouse.” The estate of Kenneth Jameson will instead go to the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God Community Services, which serves people with developmental disabilities. As unpleasant as her father’s wishes were, the will was found to be valid.

Wolin told the court that because her parents disowned her when she refused to stop dating a Jewish man, who was the man she eventually married and with whom she had three children, she was forced to pay for her college education by herself. She also had to spend her semester breaks at her boyfriend’s house because her father didn’t want her around.

8.8.16Passing your home to your heirs can occur in a number of ways, depending upon your situation and your family. It’s not a do-it-yourself project—even in the simplest cases.

If you own a home and want to leave it to your loved ones, there are steps you need to take to ensure that your wishes are achieved. According to Fox News, “You're Going to Die—Here Are the Best Ways to Deal with Your Home,”, inheriting a collection of 80s Transformers action figures won’t have a big impact on your heirs, but a sizable asset like a house will.

Here are a few ways to help prepare now.

Love 5.11.2016Houston Millennials have a different perspective about love, money and family.

Boomers have taught their children well. While nearly three quarters of boomers see a gift of money as an expression of love, according to a recent survey, their children don't see things the same way. These different values have a significant impact on how families should discuss and plan for inheritances.

Reuter's recent article, "Equating inheritance with love can cause discord," explains that Millennials hold very different views about receiving gifts. According to the survey, roughly 33% of them feel that a monetary gift is a way for the older generation to exert influence over them.

Bowl of cherriesIf you expect to inherit assets from a successful parent, hope that they do not have a double life that involves criminal behavior. Property used to commit a crime or assets purchased with the profits of a criminal act are subject to civil forfeiture by government offices. If the person is deceased, their estate is vulnerable.

Arthur Mondella was a successful and colorful character. Heir to a family business founded in 1948, Dell’s Maraschino Cherries, Arthur was known for a larger-than-life personality and all the trappings of success The company generated annual revenues of approximately $20 million. But that was not, as it turned out, the sole source of his extravagant lifestyle.

While investigators were looking into an unrelated matter at his Brooklyn factory, they noticed a strong smell of marijuana. This led them to discover that some shelving hid an entrance to the basement, where Mondella had set up an illegal marijuana growing operation. Rather than face criminal charges for his activities, Mondella committed suicide. He left his estate, including the cherry business, to his three daughters and sister. Each received a share.

Baby's handUnlike previous generations, the baby boomers are more concerned with having enough money to last through their retirement years than with leaving substantial assets to their heirs and to charities.  But they are still concerned with leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren.  A new definition of a legacy is not based on dollars, but on family memories and shared values.

Money isn’t the only definition of legacy, according to the US News article titled “How Boomers Are Redefining 'Legacy.’” Baby boomers realize that their top priority is to have enough assets to support themselves, but are starting to redefine “legacy” in the process. For some individuals, it means giving away some money now. For others, it’s restructuring some assets to leave a financial inheritance. For most, the process of aligning their assets with their priorities means the opportunity to create non-financial legacies.

Rethink how you label the financial help you're giving now to your next generation. Are you helping them out with college tuition? Helping with the living expenses of a slow-to-launch millennial by having them stay at home or by covering some bills is not uncommon. About 62% of Americans 50 and older are providing financial support to family members, according to a recent study. The study found that the subsidies averaged $15,000 over five years, but also increased with the givers’ resources. You’re allowed to give away $14,000 per recipient, per year, without triggering any tax penalties or disclosures … more than that and the person who gives has to complete a gift tax return. Also, the gift tax is deducted from your lifetime cap on tax-free gifting.

WheelbarrowThus far, many people have attempted to establish a link – none have been successful. If no one claims the inheritance in 30 years, the money goes to the British crown.

No will or other estate planning documents could be found for Kathleen Hilda Ryan, who passed away in Greenwhich, United Kingdom in 2013 with an estate valued at $788,000. She had inherited the bulk of it from her sister, Joan.

Kathleen had no children of her own and no living siblings.

Calla lilly flowerWhen Christie’s auctioned off Edgar Degas’s “Danseuses” for nearly $11 million in 2009, the catalog noted that the masterpiece was being sold as part of a restitution agreement with the “heirs of Ludwig and Margret Kainer,” German Jews whose vast art collection was seized by the Nazis in the years leading up to World War II. But now a dozen relatives of the Kainers are stepping forward to object.

If valuable art is stolen, but then recovered after the original owner passed away, who gets to claim it? And how long should the person or business who recovered the art look for the rightful heirs?

When the Nazis rose to power in Germany, the wealthy Jewish couple Ludwig and Margaret Kainer fled to France. They left behind a valuable art collection that included original Monets and Degas amongst other pieces. All of their valuables were confiscated by the Nazis. After the war and before any of that property could be recovered, the Kainers passed away. They had no children. The art ended up in the trust of Swiss Banks, which at least nominally transferred them to a foundation that had previously been set up by Mrs. Kainer's father.

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