Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Story Highlights Probate Traits

This news story -- which is a tragic account of a 13 year-old boy who shot and killed his father, and now stands to inherit under his father's will -- illustrates two important aspects of the probate process.
  • a will, once filed with the probate court, becomes a public record for anyone to read. This fact is one reason why a person may choose to create a trust instead of a will; a trust creates non-probate assets, avoiding probate.
  • probate estates under $50K avoid probate. However, it does not take much to reach $50k....often owning a home will meet the threshold.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gift Taxes in 2010

It seems that the gift tax exclusion for 2010 will remain the same, $13,000 per person, per year. For more details, check out the IRS publication.