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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11650
Experience:  JD, MBA
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My father-in-law died last week and left my wife and her

Customer Question

My father-in-law died last week and left my wife and her brother two bank accounts. They are having no problem liquidating the accounts, but my brother-in-law wants my wife to have all the money. Essentially he wants to sign over his portion of the inheritance to her. The total amount of money is far less than what is required to file estate tax. Can this be done with a simple notarized letter or form? We are not sure how to handle this.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He died in Virginia, my wife lives in Maryland and her brother lives in Mass.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

The simplest way to handle this is for the brother-in-law to simply get his share of the money and hand it over to your wife. It requires no forms, nothing official, etc. The money received isn't taxed, so there's nothing to worry about there. But if the brother-in-law wants it to be "official," then he can draft/sign/notarize a letter which states that he disclaims any interest in the money. Then (assuming there are no other heirs), your wife would inherit all of the money.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Would my brother-in-law or we have tax issues if he gives it to us after he takes possession of the money. Does it keep its "death benefit" status?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hi again.

No tax issues based on what you wrote. You already mentioned that it's far under the legal amount to owe estate taxes. The gift tax has the same threshold. So I don't see a tax issue here.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!

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