Posts by Inez Bowie, CPA, CSEP:
- Give you the final say over how your finances will be distributed.
- Establish who will be legally responsible for caring for your minor children.
- Help you avoid a drawn-out probate process.
- Provide you with an opportunity to minimize your tax burden.
- Let you determine who will be responsible for managing the affairs of your estate.
- I’m certain my boys now agree on one thing – that when they become professional sports stars (or whatever profession they choose), a will is a must have.
- They now know who Prince is and that he acquired a lot of money over the course of his career.
- Hopefully, they now have a basic understanding of the importance of a will. (I’m probably going to have to have a follow-up conversation about this one.)
Learn How A Will Protects Your Fortune After Death
While driving my sons to school this morning, we heard on the radio that, according to his sister, Tyka Nelson, music legend Prince died without having a will in place. This means, if the reports are true, Prince’s estate will be managed by a Minnesota probate court and will likely come with a large tax bill.
Naturally, this story has already generated national attention concerning the future of Prince’s multimillion dollar estate. What is certain, however, is that if Prince did die without having a will, his sister and five other half-siblings would stand to acquire a significant inheritance – after taxes, of course.
Read Also: You Can Still Have The Final Say After Death
Who Will Inherit Your Fortune?
I know that my sons truly love each other but, like most siblings, they fight like cats and dogs. So I decided to use the drive to school as a teachable moment.
Because both of my sons dream of becoming professional sports stars (let them dream), I advised them to heed the warning tucked within the morning’s news report. If you don’t want your brother to inherit your fortune when you pass away, you need to have a will in place that will determine where your millions go. Otherwise, the state will give everything to your next of kin.
Still Not Sure If A Will Is Necessary?
Regardless of how large (or how small) your fortune is, estate planning is essential and drawing up a will is a critical component of the plan – one you literally can’t afford to ignore. Among the many benefits of establishing a will, this document will:
You don’t have to be a teacher to pass along a few solid words of wisdom to your children. You just need seize teachable moments when they present themselves – even if all you can do is begin laying the groundwork for an even bigger lesson. Here’s what we accomplished on this morning’s drive:
Eh, I tried.
Would you like to learn more about estate planning and how to ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes after you die? Listen to episode 6 of unsuitable on Rea Radio with Dave McCarthy – The Grim Reaper Is Coming And He Wants Your Money. You can also email Rea & Associates to learn more.
By Inez Bowie, CPA, CSEP (Marietta office)
The following articles offer some more great advice about the importance of drawing up a will.
Just when you think your estate plan is complete, is it really? Your will gives your personal property to your daughter, Suzie. Great, Suzie gets your laptop and your smartphone. But what happens to your online accounts, emails, Facebook account, iTunes account, that special digital crown won in an online game, and digital pictures stored in the “cloud”? Does Suzie know where to find your usernames or passwords? Even if she does, does she have a right to access the accounts? Read the rest of this entry “
If you deal with trusts, you may soon feel the effects of new higher tax rates and the Medicare surtax. Unfortunately, the fiscal cliff deal was not kind to trusts, trustees or trust beneficiaries. For 2013, a trust will pay income tax at the highest individual tax rate of 39.6 percent when taxable income is more than $11,950. An individual would not pay at this highest tax rate until taxable income exceeds $400,000. In addition, the new 3.8 percent Medicare surtax on net investment income applies to trusts if taxable income exceeds $11,950. Read the rest of this entry “
Recently, Ohio eliminated the Ohio estate tax. The estates of individuals who die after January 1, 2013 will not be subject to the Ohio estate tax. Read the rest of this entry “
As we approach the end of 2012, there is much uncertainty regarding tax legislation. Tax rates, exemptions, credits and deductions are likely to change for both businesses and individuals, but no one yet knows which of the predicted changes will really come to pass. How do you prepare for this uncertain future? Take advantage of the 2012 rates while you still can and plan for contingencies in 2013 and beyond. Read the rest of this entry “
Recently, a reader shared with us that she inherited property in both Ohio and Florida. She had a pretty specific question related to the value of the Ohio property. That question made me think there may be more people who don’t know how to handle newly inherited property for estate tax purposes. Hence, I’m going to provide some general estate information I hope will help.
According to Ohio law, “the value of any property included in the gross estate shall be the price at which such property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.”
Now, let me put that in simpler terms. If there is real estate in an estate, then you need to claim its fair value. That value is the amount the property would sell for assuming both the buyer and seller know about the property and neither was pressured to either buy or sell. Read the rest of this entry “
It may not be the most romantic Valentine’s Day conversation, but financial planning is an important part of starting your marriage on solid financial footing. After all, married couples fight over personal finances more than they fight over anything else. Read the rest of this entry “
If you’ve been considering making a monetary gift to your children or other relatives, you may want to make your gift well before December 31. And better yet, if you haven’t made any previous gifts in 2011, you can gift up to $13,000 in 2011 and follow up with a gift of up to $13,000 in early 2012. Read the rest of this entry “
Dear Cousin Lauren is in a tough spot and she asked you for money. Again. Granted, she’s family and you want to help, but maybe she hasn’t made the best financial decisions in the past. What should you do?
It’s tempting to loan money to a friend or family member when times are tough. But whether Cousin Lauren asks you to float some cash “just this once,” or needs ongoing help that may impact your comprehensive estate plan, consider the following before you commit to an intra-family loan. Read the rest of this entry “