They call it the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Funny, that. Overall it produces tax increases - that's relief?
The Thursday, March 31, Intelligencer/New Era carried The Motley Fool's School article entitled "Probate 101."
Thank you to Atty Charles Rubin who posted about the news from the IRS on his blog: Rubin on Tax.
The question of what a surviving spouse inherits from a deceased spouse is a complicated one. The answer is the typical lawyer's response, "It depends." Some scenarios can help to illustrate the issues. To keep the examples simple, I am going to assume that the husband dies before the wife - forgive me, all you husbands out there.
A person who dies without a will dies intestate. Each state has a statute that specifies to whom the decedent's property is distributed if there is no will.
Here is a new one on me:
In addition to grief, loss, and loneliness, widows and widowers are faced with many practical problems. There are arrangements to be made, financial matters to deal with, and children to care for, just to name a few. The death of a spouse is a time when the surviving spouse will need love and support. The survivor also will be bombarded with advice, suggestions, demands, fears, and concerns. Here is a guide to help you through this difficult time.
Where do you keep your original will? Some folks keep their wills in a "fireproof" box in their desk, or under their bed. At your peril, I say. The metal box may not burn but it makes a fine little oven.