Tag Archive for 'benficiary designations'

Dead vs. Mostly Dead


It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Miracle Max made this important distinction in The Princess Bride…  Professor Beyer sparked this memory this morning when he asked if technically dead is dead enough.  Great stuff Professor.  Thanks again.

Where Not To Die

couldn’t not steal that title from Forbes


The above states (and the District of Columbia) are the remaining states that still impose their own estate tax.  Eight states (shaded in orange) impose an inheritance tax, meaning the tax rate (in black) depends on who gets the money. New Jersey and Maryland impose both types of tax.

Both David and Greg picked up on this last week and I thought it sufficiently important to post due to some of my recent experiences/conversations with clients.

Ohio’s estate tax is (roughly) 7% on every dollar above (roughly) $338,000 <– this credit is indexed for inflation per statue so its constantly changing.  It doesn’t matter if the property of the decedent was probate or non-probate either – the tax still applies.  If the decedent owned the property immediately before the time of their death, the tax applies.  I say “immediately before” because those assets that pass by beneficiary designation or by payable on death (“POD”) / transfer on death (“TOD”) designation are deemed to not have been owned by the decedent at the moment of their death…  Its this legal fiction that is applied to effectuate the transfer of the property, but don’t think that prevents the man from taking his share.  I point this out because to confuse the the probate/non-probate disctiction vs what is taxable, can lead to some big problems.  Big problems that are easily avoided if you just seek the right counsel.

If you’re looking at doing some planning, or feel that planning is perhaps and imminent need of yours (or someone in your family), please don’t wait, call someone who knows what they’re talking about…  Maybe its not me, that’s fine, just call someone.  You cannot do this stuff on your own.  You need help; and some of us do this for a living.