Everyone’s heard the stories of celebrities who died without a proper estate plan in place. It’s been a hot topic in the last few years with Prince and Aretha Franklin serving as unfortunate faces of the phenomenon. However, it’s not just freewheeling entertainers.
“Late Cars’ singer Ric Ocasek cut his estranged, supermodel wife out of his will, claiming that she ‘abandoned’ him, the now-public document reveals.
An issue that frequently arises is the treatment of an inheritance received by a spouse during the marriage. The basic rule is that any property received via gift or inheritance during the marriage is exempt from equitable distribution.
When the first spouse dies, the surviving spouse may not remain as close with his or her stepchildren. Small irritations which were overlooked during the lifetime of the spouse who died, may become outright disputes.
More than likely, most people may not want to envision a time spent in court, arguing with siblings and other family members, or fighting with financial institutions and health providers to uphold end-of-life wishes and the management of personal assets.
Beneficiaries of a trust typically pay taxes on the distributions they receive from the trust’s income, rather than the trust itself paying the tax. However, such beneficiaries are not subject to taxes on distributions from the trust’s principal.
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. However, to think that over 70% of people don’t even have a will is, indeed, quite frightening.
It is estimated that more than 50 percent of all Americans don’t have a will, and in our Future File business, we have estimated that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population has a complete legacy and wishes planning system.