Estate planning includes all the planning that’s involved for setting up a will, a trust and making sure that your assets go to the people or organizations that you want to have them. Estate planning is complex — you should consider taxes when making plans for your assets to go to your heirs. If you don’t do estate planning you risk having your belongings managed by the state where you live, and your state’s laws may not match exactly what you want. Estate planning is especially important in blended families.
Will my son inherit the house?
Will my son inherit the house? Q: I purchased a house with my married son several years ago for him to live in. My husband and I gave him the money for the down payment. Only my credit was checked when we purchased it. Both my son's name and my name are on the deed [...]
Can We Switch Inheritances?
Can we switch inheritances? Two brothers don't want to share the two properties they inherited. They'd rather switch inheritances, so that each brother inherits a separate property. Can the estate handle this? Inheritances Can Be Complicated Q: My brother and I inherited two houses upon my father's death. We each share half interest in each [...]
Inheriting a Home: Options to Consider
Are you inheriting a home? There are several options to consider if you'll be the beneficiary of this sort of bequest and don't want to keep it. Inheriting a Home: To Keep or Sell Q: I read your column regularly and always find it very interesting and informative. I have a rather complicated question: My [...]
Inheriting Property in a Trust
Inheriting property in a trust is far easier than going through probate. Q: My dad owns a duplex. He lives upstairs and rents the downstairs unit. He wants me to inherit the property after he dies. Should we transfer ownership of the property by will or by adding me to the deed? I understand all [...]
Settling an Estate
Settling an estate, condo sale and debts. These are the issues this family is facing two years after their son's death. What would you do? Q: My single son died two years ago. He had no children. His only assets were his condominium and the money he had in his 401(k) plan. His condo is [...]
Is There a Tax on Cash?
Is there a tax on cash? What about a cash inheritance? How do I understand what tax my father-in-law owes on his cash? Q: My wife's father is close to death and he has moved all of his investments into his bank in the form of cash. He said that was done to help my [...]
What if I have no heirs?
What if I have no heirs? A reader doesn't love his family enough to leave them his assets. Now what? Q: What choices are there for a person with no immediate heirs, who doesn't want the house and other assets to go to the cousins? Who or what can inherit? What happens if a person [...]
Should I set up a trust or use a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed?
Should I set up a trust or use a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed or instrument? That's what one of Ilyce's readers wrote in to ask how she should manage her estate. To read more Q&A like this one, sign up for Ilyce Glink's Love, Money + Real Estate newsletter. Should I set up a trust? Q: [...]
Should Parents Split an Inheritance Equally? Not Always
Should parents split an inheritance equally? Not always. There are many reasons why you might not want to treat all children equally. Read more: Sign up for my Love, Money + Real Estate newsletter. Should parents split an inheritance equally? One of our readers sent in this question: Q: My mom is in her 90s, [...]
Can You Have Three Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship?
Can you have three joint tenants with rights of survivorship? This reader wants to know if it’s legal to add a third person to the title of their home. Q: There are two of us on the title of a home. We own the home as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Is it legal [...]