Articles Tagged with Houston Will Changes

Pot of goldHere's an ethical dilemma. You learn that your late mother had a safe with $100,000 cash in it after the estate has been finalized. Do you pocket the cash and tell no one, or add it to her assets? The temptation is obvious, but the right and legal thing to do is correct the error.

New Jersey 101.5 says in its recent article, "Why it's important for executors to report all estate assets," that the executor of an estate must prepare and file the necessary returns. In doing this, he or she has to collect, value and report all of the assets of the estate.

If a failure to include the cash in the inventory of the estate assets keeps the estate below the reporting threshold and no return was filed, the unpaid tax on the cash will accrue interest. Plus, the estate and executor may be subject to penalties for nonpayment, as well as facing civil and criminal penalties if this failure to file is deemed fraudulent.

Fight over moneyFamily members are fighting to lift a shroud of secrecy following the death of a successful bishop who built a real estate empire and a megachurch. As reported in The Detroit News in "Family battles over megachurch founder's estate," the estate of a Pentecostal bishop from Detroit could be valued at up to $10 million. The bishop's heirs want their inheritance, and the church is pushing back.

Bishop William Bonner's two adult grandchildren say his survivors are being shut out of their inheritance, and they believe officials with a Harlem church are hiding money and records about property that belongs to the family.

Bonner died in April at age 93, after suffering from dementia and complications from a stroke. He founded Solomon's Temple in 1944, which has grown into a 2,500-seat sanctuary. His real estate empire includes as many as 30 homes and other properties in several states, his family says. His survivors want the church to open its books on his financial affairs to give them more information about the bishop's Will detailing property and cash that they claim should be part of their inheritance.

Baby feetFew things in life are more joyous than the arrival of another new baby in the family. Among the necessary tasks is a review of your estate planning documents. If you had a will prepared for your first child, it is possible that the existing documents simply need to be updated. But don't wait. Make sure that you also address guardianship issues, should anything tragic occur in your family.

In the post "Will another baby affect your current will?"New Jersey 101.5 advises checking on your will to see whether it identifies your "children" or "descendants" as your beneficiaries—and then defines those terms to provide that children born after you executed your will are included.

If it does, then it is probably not urgent to update your will to include your new child's name. However, if the will was drafted without that flexibility and only identifies your first child by name as the beneficiary, then you need to talk with your estate planning attorney and have your will updated.

Contact Information