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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10154
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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My mom passed away about 3 months ago. I am listed in her

Customer Question

My mom passed away about 3 months ago. I am listed in her estate. Last week, we found out that she has listed me as the benficiary in her Merrill Lynch brokerage account. My brother's wife is the executor of the estate, and she said I should check on the tax ramifications before I accept the money in the brokerage account. She thought there would be more tax liablity this way as opposed receiving the brokeage account as opposed to putting the money into the estate.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.

Hi again.

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No it's actually the opposite

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Estates pay taxes at much higher rates (hit the 39.6% bracket at around 12,000)

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Individuals don't hit 39.6% until around $400,000

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Plus everything that passes outside the probate estate, TOD, POD, etc speed up the rest of the assets that have no CHOICE but to go through probate, either through the will or the intestacy laws (where the probabte court writes the will based on state law)

Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

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Just checking back in to see if you saw my answer ... but no, disclaiming and letting this go to the estate would (1) change how things get distributed ... this was meant to go directly to you (2) potentially cost MORE in taxes, and (3) add time and assets to the probate process, almost never desirable (UNLESS the beneficiaries of the WILL are looking to have some of this go to them)

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I'm in Georgia too ... maybe it would help if i offered a phone consult.

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Be glad to work through this with you over the phone

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Lots if information here.

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I'll make the additional services offer for the smallest amount possible ($5).

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Let me know

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Lane

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