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He passed with 5 children to share estate equally. He owns several properties and other stocks as well, all to be shared equally. He lived in NY and I live in GA. Are there different laws for the 2 states. Want to protect myself. Siblings want all $ distributed immediately from joint acct, and say I can just write a check for all their share. It exceeds the amount allowed for gifts per year. I understand that is the law I would have to comply with. If so they are asking for their spouses or partners to receive checks also and if need be do checks for 2016 & again Jan 1, 2017. I would like some kind of release signed that they accept their portion be paid to both them and their partners.

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Sorry - one more thing that's important to add: I handled this situation in a way that was suggested by my accountant. However, before I did anything I also ran the plan by the attorney that is handling the probate of my mothers estate. It would be smart to follow pamstegmas advice and consult an attorney in your state.
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I forgot to add, that on the form I had my brothers sign I also stated that I was listed as a joint account holder for DPOA purposes only - as to facilitate the moving of money as necessary for by mothers bills.
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If stickey is now full owner of the joint account, the money in there would be gifts from stickey, not from the deceased parent. PLEASE stickey get a NY lawyer to help you.
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Opps, my bad! I was thinking she meant the annual gift that was not taxable by a parent to a child!
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Please consult an accountant regarding gift tax - it is vastly misunderstood. In the majority of states gift tax is paid when the total exceeds a set amount - most people never hit this mark as it's over four million dollars. Yes, the IRS wants a form regarding gifts over the amount - per person, about $12,000 - but that is so they can keep track on a running amount - you won't be taxed at the time or likely ever. Yes, you can split it to the individuals as well as over the years if you want to stay under the amount that requires that form. I was joint owner of my moms savings account. After mom passed I took a death cert to the bank and they put the account into my name only. I then closed the account getting cashiers checks in equal amounts to me and my brothers. I then drew up a form for them to sign saying - they recognized the money was the sole property of my mother and that it was being distributed in equal shares in keeping with her will and her wishes. It further said that they agree that the money was in no way a gift from me. I listed the all names and amounts, dates the will was made. I also wrote that they acknowledge this particular account is now closed. I had them sign and date it. I attached a copy of the bank form closing the account along with copies of all of the cashiers checks. They got a full set of the papers and I kept all the originals. I did this the way I did after consulting my accountant. I live in Oregon and was advised that what I did was legal.
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If he has passed I think the allowable gift allowance is a moot point. It is inheritence now. But I would not be in a hurry,, many bills take a long time to come in and you will have to pay them. And you have no idea what the properties will actually sell for.. so don;t let them get you to pay based on the asking price. My MIL was ext for her brother. They put the farm on the market for over a mil.. all the other relatives wanted their cut right away. It sold for 300,000. after a few years.. BIG difference!
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Yes there are different laws for probate and taxes in NY. Please find a good attorney in NY to assist you with the estate. I am in NY and the first thing I will tell you is that there is NO immediate distribution here, there is a 7 month waiting period required by law.
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