November 27, 2013   Inheritance

How to Disinherit a Family Member

When planning your estate, you have the right to distribute your assets any way you choose. There are a myriad of reasons why a person may decide to disinherit a would-be beneficiary from taking under his or her estate. The method of disinheriting a person depends on what their relationship to you is.   If You Would Like to Disinherit Your Spouse Unless your spouse agrees in writing, it is impossible to disinherit him or her completely. If your spouse agrees to be disinherited, he or she must either abandon you or agree to be disinherited through a legal contract. Otherwise, state law protections will keep a decedent’s surviving spouse from getting nothing from the decedent’s estate. In most states, a spouse who has not agreed to be disinherited but was left out of his or...
August 21, 2014   Inheritance

Inherited IRAs No Longer Protected From Creditors

By Matthew T. McClintock, J.D. Vice President, Educational Content, WealthCounsel In a major decision, the Supreme Court ruled this past June that inherited IRAs are not considered protected retirement funds—and are thus subject to creditors’ claims if the beneficiary files for bankruptcy. In the case of Clark v. Rameker, Heidi Heffron-Clark argued that a $300,000 IRA she inherited from her mother in 2001 qualified as a protected retirement account. As such, she contended, the account was exempt from the claims of creditors after Heffron-Clark and her husband filed for bankruptcy in 2010. However, under U.S. tax code regarding inherited IRAs, Heffron-Clark was required to withdraw a minimum amount of money from the account each year, even though she is not yet retirement age...
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