Articles Posted in Inheritance Planning

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“You may have a friend, or two, who has blown a large inheritance. Some of you may have also seen a news story about a lottery winner who went bankrupt (or worse) just a few years after receiving a life-altering sum of money. If you don’t want this to be you, keep reading as we share five tips to make the most of an inheritance or windfall.”

Studies have shown that when people unexpectedly come into money, they’ll treat it differently than the money they’ve earned.

Forbes’ recent article entitled “5 Important Steps To Maximize An Inheritance” says that even the most financially astute consumers can get inundated with their newfound wealth. People can feel pressure to use the cash to purchase new vehicles, bigger homes, or even take their families on dream vacations. Others may feel that they can safely quit their jobs and live the life of luxury.

2.11.20“Receiving an inheritance can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's overwhelming, thanks to the intense emotions associated with losing a loved one combined with the confusion about what to do with the newly acquired assets. On the other, an inheritance can re-invigorate your finances and create new opportunities for you and your family.”

Wealth Advisor’s recent article entitled “How to Handle Inherited Investments” provides us with some of the top inheritance considerations:

Consider Cash. Besides cash, the most common inheritances are securities, real estate and art. These assets usually go up in value, but another big benefit is their favorable tax treatment. The heirs won’t pay capital gains on unsold investments that went up in value during the lifetime of the deceased (estate taxes would apply). Those taxes would only apply to the gains that happened after they took possession.  There’s a good reason to hang onto these investments. These types of property carry some risks, so you may consider putting some of your inherited investments into cash, cash equivalents, or life insurance with a guaranteed payout to avoid exposure to undue risk.

2.3.20“The heirs of a philanthropist who donated a historic theater to the City of Miami want it back.”

A dissolved nonprofit controlled by the heirs of Maurice Gusman sued the city of Miami recently, in an attempt to regain control of the Olympia Theater and restore it to its former glory. They claim city officials have squandered the theater built in 1926 and violated the terms of an agreement with their grandfather, Maurice Gusman.

The heirs and the dissolved corporation’s directors are Maurice Gusman’s grandchildren: Bruce Gusman, Robert Gusman and Jackie Gusman Thayer.

12.30.19It’s a problem that most people wish they had: a sudden influx of money, sometimes a lot of money. It can be overwhelming, and the most important thing to do is—nothing, at first.

The first thing to do when you are newly flush with money, is take a few deep breaths. Then take a long, clear look at your financial status, advises WMUR.com’s recent article, “Handling unexpected wealth.”

Depending on how much you have received, you could be in a very different place financially. You should take an in-depth look at your net worth and cash flow.

10.21.19There are many inheritance scenarios, where people hope that a simple solution will save them time and money. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way estate or tax laws work.

A woman received joint ownership of her father’s house about a decade ago. Her father is still living there, and so is her sister. The woman doesn’t pay for any of the expenses; she and her father take care of their own costs. The sisters plan on selling the home, after their father passes. The woman wonders if she can simply give her sister her half of the home and avoid paying any taxes.

This situation is expanded upon in recent nj.com article, “My sister and I own my father’s home. How can I avoid taxes?” The article notes that a sibling may give her half of a home owned in joint ownership to a sibling, but there may still be some tax consequences.

8.14.19One of the reasons for a pre-nuptial agreement, is to clarify who owns what in the marriage, and what happens to property if the marriage should dissolve. In a community property state, everything is “ours.”

If you live in a community property state, like Texas, and you are married, both spouses own and have an equal right to assets, which are considered marital property. The issue is explored in nj.com’s recent article, “Does this house really become community property after marriage?”

Let’s imagine you own a home before your second marriage and created a will leaving the condo to a child. However, you sold the home and purchased another house in your name using funds from the sale and your own funds.

4.15.19One of the challenges of asset distribution comes when your children’s lives have taken different turns. Do you leave your successful daughter the same amount of money that you would leave to a son, who can’t seem to find a direction? It’s not always easy, but decisions do need to be made.

What and how you leave your wealth can be a hard decision, if you have more than one child. This is particularly true, if your kids’ circumstances are dramatically different or you’re much closer to one than another. The easiest solution might be to split whatever you have equally among them. However, is equal the same thing as fair?

Ladders.com’s recent article, “More parents are leaving unequal inheritances to their adult kids” says that a growing number of parents say that answer is a resounding “no.”

1.22.19It sounds crazy, but there are many good reasons why someone would not want to receive an inheritance. Making sure that you are not forced to receive assets must be done very carefully, so you’ll need an estate planning attorney on your team.

An estate waiver, also known as an inheritance waiver, releases a person from the right to claim assets in the event of another person’s death. You’ll need such a waiver, if you don’t want to be stuck with state or federal taxes based on the value of the estate, or you don’t want a piece of real estate that is located far from where you live. Another reason for not wanting an inheritance: you may be in the middle of litigation or a divorce and the last thing you want is to increase your assets.

Whatever the reason, this article from Investopedia, “How Inheritance and Estate Tax Waivers Work,” provides some tips to consider when deciding on an inheritance or estate waiver release.

1.10.19The rules are strict, and mistakes can be costly.

Inheriting an IRA is not like inheriting any other asset. You’ll need to be very careful to follow the rules. Usually the parent is the beneficiary and the children (grandchildren) are successor beneficiaries. Here’s how it works, as described in nj.com’s recent article, “Inheriting an inherited IRA? Your payout choices will be limited.”

Per IRS rules, if you die prior to withdrawing all the funds from an inherited IRA, then the beneficiaries are bound by the same Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) schedule that they’d chosen when they inherited it.

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