A nice day today, eh?
Make all your money out West? Here's what to do about it for your estate plan in MA.
People move here from all over. Including from Western states, where one may have earned all their current wealth. Sound familiar? Why does this matter?
Because they’re differences in how assets are owned—if you’re married. It’s called Community Property. But this doesn’t apply to Massachusetts, because we have separate property.
For instance, in California, when you earn a dollar, your spouse owns one-half of it. But here, you own that whole dollar until you part with it.
Say you moved here from California. Community property remains community property. Even if it’s put into the name of one spouse.
There’s two benefits of a community property scenario.
1) Each spouse can control who gets their half when they die.
2) You can save on income taxes. Say you guys bought Apple stock for $20K. Later, it grows to be worth $1M. The surviving spouse will pay less income taxes when they later sell the stock. Why? Because the tax law has a lower tax rate when a surviving spouse sells it.
I'm Joel Bernstein, an estate planning attorney with over 30 years of experience. I use plain English to help you understand wills, trusts, and the other documents you need to protect your loved ones and your estate.
Most middle-aged people aren’t ready for their inevitable death. We make estate planning simple, affordable, and quick. So people can live in peace, knowing their affairs are in order.
"Let me outline in general the process we follow to avoid making inadvertent errors to your existing estate planning: