Tag Archives: intestate

Another actor did it wrong. Do you have your plans in place?

Julie Garber, in her weekly blog, wrote about another person who did it wrong.  When actor Paul Walker died in a terrible car crash on November 30th, 2013, he left an estate estimated to be worth at least $45 million.  However, he had done no estate planning and left no will.  He was only 40 years old and probably thought he had plenty of time to get his affairs in order.  His parents, ex-wife and girl friend of seven years are now fighting over who should inherit.

According to California intestate laws, the entire estate should be inherited by his daughter, Meadow.  Since she is only 15, someone needs to be responsible for managing to estate until she turns 18.  Her mother is her guardian but is not necessarily the one who will control the money on her behalf.  Since her parents believe they should manage the estate, the case will have to go to probate court.

And what about his long term girlfriend, Jasmine?  She won’t see a penny.

Have you done estate planning?  Is all of your paperwork in order?  Or are you, like Paul Walker, leaving a mess for  your loved ones?

For more information about estate planning, go to www.diesmart.com.

Stieg Larsson died with no will

Stieg Larsson, the man who wrote the milenium trilogy including the novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, died suddenly in 2004 at the age of 50. At the time of his death, he was not yet famous and he was living modestly with his partner, Eva Gabrielsson. In fact, they had been living together in Sweden for 32 years.

Larsson spent his career investigating rightwing extremism and received many death threats. He feared that getting married would make them an even bigger target. Despite that, he and Eva finally set a date for the ceremony but Larsson died before it could take place.

The couple had talked about setting up a company in which the two of them would share all of their assets as well as any money earned for writing books and articles. The company would provide that if one of them died, the other one would get everything. Because of this plan, Larsson felt that a will would be unnecessary and so never prepared one. But the company was not set up before Larsson’s death.

Sweden has no provision in their law for inheritance by common-law spouses so when Larsson died without a will, his brother and father inherited everything he owned, including the rights to his books and the profits that the 50 million copies sold made.

In 2007, the family gave Gabrielsson ownership of the modest apartment in which she and Larsson had lived and offered her $2.75 million. She turned down the offer because she wants control of the estate so she can manage the handling of the books, including movie and other publication rights. There is a partial manuscript for a 4th book in the series; since she supposedly helped Larsson write the trilogy and the manuscript is in her possession, she could finish the novel but she refuses to hand it over to Larsson’s family.

If only Larsson had written a will, settlement of the estate could have been handled smoothly and in a timely manner. Instead, in 2012 (more than 8 years later), the dispute is still going on.

Don’t put yourself in this position. Make sure you have a will so your estate will go to the person you want it to….not the one the government dictates. For more information about this topic, go to diesmart.com.

Everyone needs a will. Do you have one?

It is critically important for everyone to have a will.  If you don’t have one, your wishes may not be carried out.  Why? 

First of all,  every state has laws covering what is called “dying intestate” (without a will).  These rules strictly dictate who will receive what from your estate. 

Let’s look at one example.  You have two children.  The first child worked his way through college and didn’t take any money from you.  You paid all of the fees associated with the second child getting a degree and consider that money an advance on that child’s future inheritance.  So you would like the first child to receive 75% of your assets and the second to get only 25%.  However, when you die, you do not have a will which specifies this.  According to the laws in many states, both of your children will share equally in your estate.

You may feel sentimental about some of your possessions.  Maybe you have a few special pieces of jewelry and know to which member of your family you wish to give each one.  Without a will, your wishes don’t count.

A will is also a good place to specify what you want your family to do with your body after you die.  Perhaps you wish to be buried; however, they may not know and this and may cremate your body instead.

This week, I read two interesting blogs which reminded me of  how important a subject this is.  Both, interestingly enough, come from outside of the United States. 

 The first comes from Ghana and begins by talking about the late Colonel Momar Khadafi  You may not care what Khadafi’s wishes were or that they were not carried out despite the fact that he had a will.  However, later the blog talks about the writer’s father and how he set the precedent for everyone in his village to have a will. 

The second was written by a woman in British Columbia and is a sad story about a man who told his former doctor, and later friend, about his wishes.  However, he didn’t write them in a formal will.  When he died, the doctor contacted the coroner to try to ensure that the wishes were carried out.  Instead, the man’s body was turned over to the Public Guardian and Trustee (a government group) and his wishes were disregarded.

Consider getting your will written today.  Not only will it make it easier for your wishes to be carried out but will remove an extra burden from your family members when you die.

 For more information about this subject and other related topics check out our book “Die Smart, 11 Mistakes That Cost Your Family Money When You Die”.

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Dying Intestate Ohio

Married with no children
If there are no children or lineal descendants, the entire estate goes to the spouse.
Married with child or children
If there is a spouse and one child or its lineal descendants surviving, the spouse get the first $60,000 if he or she is the natural or adoptive parent of the child, or the first $20,000 if he or she is not the natural or adoptive parent. In addition, the spouse gets one half of the balance of the estate. The remainder goes to the child or lineal descendants. If there is more than one child or their lineal descendants surviving, and if the spouse is the natural or adoptive parent of at least one of the children, he or she receives the first $60,000 plus one third of the balance of the estate. If the spouse is not the natural or adoptive parent of any of the children, the amount is $20,000 plus one third of the balance of the estate. In both cases, the remainder of the estate goes to the children or the lineal descendants of any deceased child.
Order of estate distribution if no spouse survives or person is single:
1) children or their lineal descendants
2) parents of the deceased
3) siblings or their lineal descendants
4) grandparents
5) lineal descendants of the deceased grandparents (i.e. aunts, uncles, cousins)
6) other next of kin
7) stepchildren or their lineal descendants
No surviving relatives
The estate goes to the state of Ohio
State link
http://tinyurl.com/cmduzm

Dying Intestate Illinois

Married with no children
The entire estate goes to the surviving spouse.
Married with child or children
One half of the entire estate goes to the spouse and the other half to the decedent’s descendants.
No spouse survives but there are other relatives
The estate will be distributed in this order of priority:

1) decedent’s descendants

2) parent, brother, sister or descendant of the decedent or of brother or sister

3) grandparent or descendant of a grandparent – one half of the estate to the decedent’s maternal grandparents or their descendants and the other half to the decedent’s paternal grandparents or their descendants

4) great grandparents or their descendants – one half of the estate to the decedent’s paternal side and the other half to the decedent’s maternal side

5) the nearest kin of the decedent

Single person/ widow or widower
The estate will be distributed in the order shown below:
Order of estate distribution if decedent not married
The estate will be distributed in this order of priority:

1) decedent’s descendants

2) parent, brother, sister or descendant of the decedent or of brother or sister

3) grandparent or descendant of a grandparent – one half of the estate to the decedent’s maternal grandparents or their descendants and the other half to the decedent’s paternal grandparents or their descendants

4) great grandparents or their descendants – one half of the estate to the decedent’s paternal side and the other half to the decedent’s maternal side

5) the nearest kin of the decedent

No surviving relatives
The real estate reverts to the county in which it is located; all other personal property becomes the property of the county in which the decedent was a resident or becomes the property of the state of Illinois and should be delivered to the State Treasurer.
State link
http://tinyurl.com/cy8cjy