Did you know you could give away a substantial amount of money without paying the federal gift tax? If you plan on leaving wealth behind for your family or other heirs and you're worried about edging above the federal estate tax threshold and paying the whopping 40 percent tax, you might be looking at gifting money now to save your estate later. It's important to realize the ramifications of total gifting, though, because a miscalculation could leave your heirs on the hook for a great deal.
In New Jersey and elsewhere, people sometimes use the terms "executor" and "administrator" as though they're interchangeable regarding the estate planning process. However, they are not the same. Generally speaking, the two titles just mentioned refer to males designated to the positions while "executrix" and "administratrix" pertain to females, but for the purpose of this post, "executor" and "administrator" refers to both. When someone asks you to be one or the other, it's crucial you understand the roles and duties assigned to each before agreeing to accept the responsibility.
When it comes to matters regarding estate administration and probate, it is common to have many questions on your mind. What will happen next? Am I making the right decisions?
The Prince heirs have been in the news consistently for almost a year now as courts, heirs and lawyers work to move the complex estate through probate. Part of the problem is that the pop star died without a will -- or any other estate provisions -- leaving everything to be sorted according to the law. That left courts with months of work in identifying the right heirs, and now that six heirs have been identified, they can't seem to agree on much.
In our previous blog post, we discussed how the streaming rights to Prince's music are at the heart of an estate battle. This is only one example of what all might be included in legal cases regarding a person's estate. One of the best ways that you can prevent your loved ones from having to head to court is to plan your estate in a way that doesn't leave room for doubt or misinterpretation.
The Bremer Trust, which is the temporary administrator of Prince's estate, has been dealing with a number of legal battles lately. It's facing allegations from potential Prince heirs that experts botched the job of handling a tribute concert last year, and it's also dealing with an ongoing battle regarding streaming rights to Prince's music.
Estate administration is a very important part of the probate process in estates that are required to go through the process. In New Jersey, the estate administrator has some duties that must be performed in an appropriate manner. In some cases, the estate administrator will need to find answers to questions that could significantly affect the estate and the heirs.
Keeping money in international accounts has long been a way individuals sheltered funds or kept assets private, but sometimes you can hide your money too well. If money is hidden away in secret accounts, especially overseas, it can be difficult for heirs to know about it or gain access to it when you pass away if you haven't planned ahead.
The heirs of famous comedy team Abbott and Costello are entering their second year of being embroiled in a lawsuit that claims a playwright stole copyrighted material for his work. The so-called copyrighted material is from the comedy team's famous "Who's on First?" skit, and it was used in the play "Hand to God," which has garnered Tony Award nominations during its successful run.
A groups of heirs in the United States is reportedly suing a museum in another country over the ownership of a single painting. They are asking that the painting, which they believe was stolen decades ago, be returned. In lieu of the return of the art, say reports, the heirs are asking for $30 million in settlement from the museum.