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January 2017 Archives

Prince's estate still in the probate process, IRS getting a lot

Music icon Prince passed away in 2015 and left behind a large estate. Unfortunately, his failure to have a solid estate plan means that any potential beneficiaries will be walking away with far less than they could have. Prince's estate is still in the probate process, and this could take several years to sort out. What is clear, however, is that the IRS will be walking away with a lot due to a lack of asset protections. Massachusetts residents, regardless of the sizes of their estates, can learn from this the importance of estate planning.

Estate and inheritance taxes on assets can be significant

There is a saying about death and taxes being the only things that are certain in this world. Sadly, it is very true. Taxes do not end at one's death either, as beneficiaries may have to deal with paying inheritance and estate taxes on anything that is passed on to them. Gifting property or other significant assets to beneficiaries is done with love and good intentions; however, if certain precautions are not taken when setting up an estate plan, whether one resides in Massachusetts or elsewhere, those items which are intended to be gifts may end up being more of a burden.

For full asset protection, updating estate plans is necessary

Those in Massachusetts who have taken the time to create estate plans can rest a little easier knowing they have taken a positive step toward protecting their loved ones and their assets. This is not always a simple task to accomplish. However, it is important to remember that, in order to maintain full asset protection, updates to estate plans may be necessary.

Massachusetts probate process part 2: What is formal probate?

In a previous article this column discussed one of the three different types of probate offered in the state of Massachusetts -- informal probate. This week's column will continue the probate topic, only this time focusing on formal probate litigation. As is true with anything, knowledge is power. Those who understand how the probate process works can have an easier time getting through it when called upon to administer a loved one's estate.

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