Articles Posted in Inheritance

Before getting married, it is important to consider how the wedding will impact a current Houston estate plan. Second marriages often present complicated estate planning issues. This is especially true for those who have children from a previous marriage whom they would like to inherit some or all of their assets. Absent the appropriate precautions, an individual could accidentally disinherit their children altogether. Similarly, individuals may need to take action in order to ensure that their assets are used to care for their future spouse. Whatever the particulars of an individual’s situation, it pays to be prepared with a comprehensive estate plan.

Studies show that many of those who have created comprehensive estate plans have not reviewed their estate plan in quite some time. Before marriage, it is crucial to review and update all estate planning documents to make sure they represent an individual’s current wishes. To begin, those who are soon to be re-married should have a discussion with their future spouse and make sure that both parties are on the same page. Next, go through each estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney who can translate individual estate planning goals into an appropriate strategy. Common changes may include adding or removing beneficiaries and addressing recently acquired assets.

In addition to these common changes, there are a few other considerations that may need to be made:

Happy man on computer
“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.

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.

5.7.19A single parent wonders if they need a will, or if just making an account a Payable on Death or POD account will be an adequate solution for transferring his assets when he dies.

Even if you have only one child, if you have no will, things will be complicated for her or him. You may wonder if you can simplify matters, just by creating a POD account with their name as the person to inherit the account when you die. However, what if you have other property, like a car, a tax or credit card refund, or any other asset that is not part of that account? Yes, that property will pass to the sole child by intestacy. However, having a will could make it far easier for your child.

nj.com’s recent article asks “Do I really need a will to help my son when I die?” The article explains that by naming your only child as the beneficiary on a POD or Transfer on Death (TOD) account, that move only governs the transfer of that particular account at your death.

7.19.19When Gloria Vanderbilt died at age 95, it was truly the end of an era. Her life included the high society world of old New York and the disco scene at Studio 54. However, her son Anderson Cooper reports that he won’t inherit any money from his mother.

Gloria Vanderbilt’s life in the spotlight began when she was very young. She remained in public view through a long and fascinating life. As a child, she and her trust fund were headlines in an epic divorce. Now that she has passed, speculation has reemerged about what happened to the Vanderbilt money. According to Trust Advisor’s article, “Does A Long Island Landscaper (And Not Anderson Cooper) Inherit Gloria Vanderbilt's Fortune?” the money may be long gone.

It’s reported that she had to sell off a few houses to pay the tax bills. Anything left behind is well-hidden in some estate planning documents. With her family fortune dwindling over time, Vanderbilt’s fashion empire came and went. However, the distributions kept coming to fill the holes.

7.5.19Some people love their timeshares and plan their getaways around the timeshare company’s offerings. Others are excited at the start, and then find that it simply doesn’t work for them. For heirs, a timeshare can be problematic.

When a timeshare owner dies, the timeshare will usually be part of the deceased owner’s estate, according to nj.com’s recent article, “My dad had a timeshare and died without a will. I don’t want it. What do I do?” The contractual obligations of the timeshare owner become the responsibility of the next-of-kin or the beneficiaries of the estate.

When the timeshare company hears of the owner’s death, they may keep sending letters to him for his expenses. Is there any way that the owner’s children could be held responsible for the timeshare expenses?

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.”

1.2.19Their lives were devoted to family and public service, and to each other. The passing of George H.W. Bush and his wife gave many Americans pause to consider their leadership and their devotion.

Few were surprised when George H.W. Bush passed less than eight months after Barbara’s death. Their deep connection—from his service in World War II to the Presidency and their role in public service after leaving the White House—was evident to everyone around them, says Forbes in the article, “Valuable Estate Lessons From The Passing Of George And Barbara Bush.”

The death of a longtime married couple in quick succession, is often called “broken-heart syndrome” or “widowhood effect.” The thought is that the lives of two people are so entwined they can’t bear to be without each other. The time between the Bushes’ deaths also raises practical questions in estate planning. Timing is critical in an estate plan, and if the deaths of married spouses happen within a short period of time, it can make the administration of an estate more difficult.

9.28.18The big buzz about Aretha Franklin is the gold-plated casket, the Christian Louboutin patent leather shoes and the fact that she died without a will.

The Queen of Soul’s four sons have filed a document that lists themselves as “interested parties” in her estate, according to an article from cbs.com titled “Report: Aretha Franklin left no will.”

A document that was said to have been filed with the Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan and signed by her son Kecalf and her estate attorney David Bennett noted the absence of a will.

Contact Information