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Jim Lange: So who’s in effect eating that $24,000 savings that your family is receiving? What’s the IRS? Alright, so we might sometimes want different beneficiaries for different assets. And it has to be strategic. By the way, another example of who gets what is, perhaps you have two children that are financially very unequal. One is maybe a spendthrift needs a spendthrift trust will always be in a low tax bracket, etc, etc. The other one is doing really well, well, and but you still want to treat them equally, well maybe leave the Roth IRA and the after tax dollars, that are tax favored to the child who is doing well and leave the IRA to the child who is in the lower income tax bracket. And if that child is a spendthrift or for another reason needs a trust, you can leave that money in the IRA to that child and the lower tax bracket.
So I guess my only point is, the estate attorney should be considering the entire estate when they are determining who gets what, the appropriate estate plan, what money is controlled by either the will or the or the revocable trust, which are probate assets, and what assets are outside probate, like a IRA or retirement plan, or by the way, a jointly held property, if you own jointly held property, typically a house your the house that you live in? For most of you, if you have not transferred it to a joint revocable trust, I would imagine that the title of your house is in both your and your spouse’s name, as joint tenants in common. And what that means is at the first death, at the literally the millisecond of death, the ownership of that jointly held asset will then go to the surviving joint owner. Which, by the way, is another way of getting around probate. Because it doesn’t matter what the will says the jointly owned property will supersede any trust or will. So this revocable trust, does control the distribution of probate assets at your death, and some people call it a real substitute, if you will.
Alright. So what the heck is probate? Well, probate is a court supervised process. And it’s very important to know that. So if you’re going to if your plan is to go through probate, you should know that the court of whatever county you happen to die in, they are going to become involved in your estate. One of the things that that does is, and one of the responsibilities of the executor who is helping administer the estate, is to prove the authenticity of the will Yes, this is the accurately represents the last wishes of the person who died, showing that that person had capacity, which sometimes comes up in the event that, you know, the day before he died, he left everything instead of to his wife and his kids. He left everything to the attending nurse. Well, maybe he didn’t have capacity to do that. Maybe there was undue influence, et cetera, et cetera. But anyway, proving that the will is authentic and is the last wishes of the person who died, identifying what assets are controlled by the will and then officially appointing somebody to be who handle the affairs of the deceased, typically called the executor or the female is executrix.
The one of the responsibilities is to protect The estate until the estate is distributed. So if it’s for example a house, make sure that the house doesn’t fall into disrepair. Make sure that the lawn is mowed, make sure the plumbing still works, make sure the house isn’t ransacked, etc. It is to pay the debts of the estate and to pay any taxes that the estate might incur. It is to identify the errors that are listed and distribute the assets to the heirs according to the wishes. This displayed in the will.
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