Save Your Estate

Why should the government or anyone else direct what happens with your estate assets? Why should a court, a stranger, or someone other than your choice make the medical and financial decisions for you if you become sick and incapacitated? Why should anyone other than your spouse, life partner, or the one you choose make the decisions about your illness, hospital visits, your funeral and what happens to your estate?

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Ronald J. Cappuccio, J.D., LL.M.(Tax) is a tax and business attorney practicing since 1976. Ron is a Graduate of Georgetown University, the University of Kansas and the Georgetown University Law Center. He also studied at Exeter University, UK.

Ron protects business and individual taxpayers from IRS Audits, Tax Collections (including bank levies, wage executions) and IRS Appeals. Employee vs. Independent Contractor Issues, Manufacturer, Pharmaceutical and Restaurant and Pizza audits are a special area of emphasis.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Problem with Joint Accounts

Question: Before my grandmother passed away she had several bank accounts w/ her name in trust to me but noone knew about them. She had a stroke and could not speak for herself and my grandfather felt the accounts should be combined, put in his name in trust to me. We went to the bank, did the paperwork and it was never mentioned since. A few years ago he made a will leaving everything to me. 11/2 yrs ago he remarried. He has been very ill & he made a new will recently leaving everything to his new wife. I asked about the account that was in trust to me & he said everything is being left to her. The whole family knows he is doing this so she won't leave him while he's sick but what are my rights? Also, does it matter this was not my (blood) related grandfather? Although he was married to my grandmother before I was born & I lived w/ them a good part of my life. Thank you

Reply: It is a shame your Grandmother did not have an estate plan. If she had left he bank acounts in a real trust for you, your grandfather would not have been able to take them and transfer them to his new wife. It is a shame when then intent of one parent or grandparent gets defeated and the inheritance ends up in the hands of the new spouse.Good luck!Ronald J. Cappuccio, J.D., LL.M.(Tax)

Death Taxes on IRA's

Question: Hi,my mom will inherit approximatly 500k from her sister's estate. Some funds are in IRA accounts, i understand the inheritence tax is 11% after the first 25k. My questions...are the retirement funds subject to inheritence tax? Are there any exemptions or deductions? Thanks, Karl

Reply: Not only are the IRA's subject to NJ Inheritance tax, they are also subject to US and NJ Income tax. If your Mom is in a high income tax bracket, the combined State and Federal Rate can exceed 40%. Try to have your Aunt see a good estate tax lawyer right away!I hope this helps.Ronald J. Cappuccio, J.D., LL.M.(Tax)