What will happen to my money and possessions if I die without a will?
If you die without a will, what happens to your assets will be determined by the state in which you reside. Every state has intestacy laws in place that parcel out property and assets to a deceased person’s closest relatives when there’s no will or trust. Keep in mind these laws vary from state to state. A good resource to help you find out how your state works is About.com’s Wills and Estate Planning site, which provides a state-by-state breakdown of how your estate would be distributed if you die without a will. See StateIntestacyLaws.com for a direct link to this page. In the meantime, here is a general (not state specific) breakdown of what can happen to a person’s assets, depending on whom they leave behind. Continue reading
The mere passage of time has no effect on the validity of the will. Individuals and families experience life changes every 2 to 5 years. So even though a will remains valid, the individual and family’s needs change. Tax laws and statutes controlling wills and trusts change as well. Continue reading
You have completed a will and perhaps a revocable living trust. Your durable power of attorney for healthcare and a living will are accompanied by a HIPAA release. All of your records are safely in place and carefully organized.
So you now are finished with your estate planning. Or are you? Will there be changes in your circumstances or your family that should lead to a review of your plan? Could some events cause you to need to revise or update the plan? Continue reading
What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees this tax season? I didn’t have to file last year, but I picked up a little income from a part-time job in 2014 and I’m wondering whether I need to file this year. Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on how much you earned (gross income), the source of that income, your filing status and your age. Your gross income includes all the income you receive that is not exempt from tax, excluding your Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately. Continue reading